Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

July 11, 2012

Partnership works to improve water drainage into Obed

CROSSVILLE — Centennial Park is now home to several new and improved wetlands and aquatic habitats. For more than a year, many dedicated volunteers with the Obed Watershed Community Association (OWCA) stream team have worked fervently at Centennial Park making remarkable improvements to three storm water drainage areas that flow into a creek that is a tributary to the Obed River.

Recently, the city of Crossville, Obed Wild and Scenic River (OWSR), Tennessee Department of  Environment and Conservation (TDEC), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and OWCA and their partners hosted a grand opening in celebration of the successful improvements to the water quality of the Obed watershed.

This project is a joint partnership between the city of Crossville, Crossville Parks and Recreation, Crossville Public Works, OWCA, Veolia Water North America, National Park Service, TDEC and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The project includes a variety of stream restoration and storm water control measures that contribute to the health of the Obed watershed. These measures will help slow the runoff from the roads, parking lots and commercial areas surrounding Centennial Park and significantly improve the biological integrity of the streams. The project also serves as an educational opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of these environmental practices.

These projects were funded by the U.S. Coast Guard’s "Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund" in response to an oil spill that took place just outside the OWSR boundary.  Oil flowed down into Clear and White Creeks, injuring critical stream bottom habitat that supports a variety of life, including freshwater mussels and “benthic macroinvertebrates” — small bugs that fish and other organisms need to survive.  Because access to the injured streams was so difficult, the city of Crossville, OWCA, OWSR, TDEC, and USFWS decided to restore these resources higher up in the watershed instead, bringing municipal, state and federal entities together in one collaborative effort.

Mayor J.H. Graham III said, “The improvements made by the dedicated volunteers with OWCA at  Centennial Park are outstanding. It has been a pleasure to be a part of this joint project.”

Centennial Park is a 67-acre complex located in the heart of Crossville. The storm water mitigation projects have been designed to absorb rain water and to improve the function of the streams and storm water channels in the park.

These projects included rain gardens, stream channel stabilization, planting wetland buffer zones and erosion control measures to help ensure a healthier stream below the park.

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