Greetings Council Members and Partners:

 

We thought we would take the time to update you all on what has been happening since our last meeting.  We have had a busy winter and spring, and wanted to get you up to date before our upcoming meeting at Prater’s Mill on May 14th at 11 am…

 

319 Grants Update

 

For the South Chickamauga Headwaters (Catoosa Co.) Project: 

  • We worked to provide financial assistance to approx. ten more local residents for repairs on failing septic systems.
  • Marketing efforts have led to meetings with several farmers to discuss BMP projects to improve water quality.
  • Water quality monitoring efforts continued.

 

For the Holly Creek Watershed (Murray Co.) Project:

  • The grant to develop a watershed management plan for the Holly Creek Watershed ended on March 31st.
  • The final draft of the plan will soon be completed.
  • The close-out report will be submitted by the end of May.

 

For the Coahulla Creek Watershed (Whitfield Co.) Project:

  • The 319 grant to implement the Coahulla Creek Watershed Management Plan is slated to begin at any time.
  • This grant will fund septic system repair cost-shares, agricultural BMPs, and streambank stabilization efforts.

 

For the Lookout Creek Watershed (Dade Co.) and Upper Oostanaula Watershed (Gordon Co.) Projects:

  • These grants were completed on October 31st, 2014.
  • We submitted proposals to implement the plans.
  • We recently got word that both proposals will be awarded and begin in late 2015 or early 2016.
  • These grants will fund septic repair cost-shares, agricultural BMPs, and practices including streambank stabilization, stormwater practices, and nutrient management.

 

No-Till Update

 

After a year with over 3,500 acres planted in our operating area, Fiscal Year 2015 is in full swing for the No-Till Rental Program.  As always, thanks is in order to David Matteson for his help with repairing and servicing the drills.  According to David, a great start to FY 2015 is underway with our custodians reporting a busy season.  Below you will find a summary of the acres planted so far.

 

 

Catoosa County Soil and Water – FY2015 Summary Acres
Catoosa County Benton Coal and Supply 245
Coosa River Soil and Water – FY2015 Summary
Chattooga County D&E Hardware 854.4
Gordon County Mike Rice 906
Walker County Young Farmers 930
Subtotal 2,690.4
Limestone Valley Soil and Water – FY2015 Summary
Whitfield County Dycus 1709.6
Murray County Brad Ridley 248
Subtotal 1,327.6
Total Acres FY 2015 4,263.0

 

Other News

 

NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant: 

  • We recently submitted a pre-proposal requesting funding for cost-shares on rainwater collection and storage systems to supplement cool cell systems in poultry houses in our 11 county area.
  • Having made the first cut, a full proposal has now been requested.
  • The proposal is due at the end of April. If awarded, the project would begin in late 2015.

 

Personnel Changes:

  • Long-time Watershed Program Manager Josh Smith has recently announced that he will be moving on from Limestone Valley. His last day is April 17th.  Josh has been with us a long time through a lot of changes, and has helped us continue to not only be relevant, but also prove we can succeed without direct Federal funding allocations.  While Josh will be difficult if not impossible to replace, we plan to bring on someone new in the near future to serve as a Watershed Project Assistant and assist us in our endeavors.