Lookout Creek Watershed
The Lookout Creek Watershed Project began in 2012 when Limestone Valley was awarded a Clean Water Act Section 319 grant to focus attention on improving the water quality in the watershed. This initial grant was focused around extensive water quality sampling and macroinvertebrate sampling efforts, an investigation into the sources of nonpoint source pollutants, extensive watershed mapping, and most importantly, the development of a Watershed Management Plan (WMP). The purpose of the WMP was to define a method to improve the water quality as well as prevent further degradation within the watershed, that can be implemented through “on-the-ground” efforts within the watershed to improve water quality. Another aspect of the project was for Limestone Valley to lead a stakeholder process to ensure community support when the WMP is implemented. The WMP (attached below) has now been written by Limestone Valley and approved by a local stakeholder group, as well Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA EPD), and the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA).
The second phase of the Lookout Watershed Project is slated to begin in November of 2015, when a second grant is likely to be officially awarded to implement the watershed management plan and conduct “on-the-ground” efforts to improve water quality in the watershed. The grant will include funds to provide financial assistance for repairs on failing septic systems, agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs), a streambank stabilization project, and two stormwater projects, specifically rain gardens, in the general Trenton area. The septic system repair and agricultural BMP efforts will be greatly assisted by the North Georgia Health District and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), respectively. Fox Environmental will be working with us on the streambank stabilization project and the two rain gardens. We are further investigating a couple locations and partners for the streambank stabilization project. An intern from University of Tennessee at Chattanooga will be assisting with water quality sampling as well conducting extensive fish sampling in the watershed for the purposes of monitoring and research. Additionally, we will be conducting outreach including annual stream cleanups and other volunteer activities including riparian tree planting events.
As always, we are trying to find some potential locations to conduct tree planting events along streams in the watershed as well. If you live in the watershed and have an interest in cost-shares for agricultural best management practices (BMPs) or septic system repairs that are likely to improve water quality, please contact us. In addition, if you live in the watershed and have an interest in conducting water quality sampling through the Georgia Adopt-A-Stream program, participating in stream cleanup events via canoe or on foot, or having trees planted along the creeks on your property, please let us know.
The map above depicts the Lookout Creek Watershed of the Northwest corner of Georgia.