With our extensive monitoring program and trained volunteers, we provide on the ground research assistance to our academic partners, UNCA and WCU. Currently, we are assisting with a three year grant between VT and WCU to assess micro-plastics in our local waterways.
Shelton Branch Stormwater Control
Timeframe | June 2023 - November 2023
Haywood County Soil & Water Conservation District
Funding Source | Pigeon River Fund
Amount Awarded | $8,750
Scope of Work
The purpose is to address stormwater on Shelton Branch, a tributary to Richland Creek, as well as improve greenspace. The study and related activities in this project would address two of the four FERC license objectives: improving surface water quality, and increasing citizen’s awareness about their roles in protecting these resources. This project would complement multiple projects completed or in progress along Shelton Branch, including relocating and restoring 900 lf of stream bank at Vance Street Park (with funding from Pigeon River Fund), restoring another 700 lf at Vance Street Park just downstream, relocating and restoring 550 lf of streambank at East Street Park (with funding from Pigeon River Fund), restoring another 1,000 lf section at East Street Park and the Shelton Branch Watershed Action Plan 2022. The results of this project would directly address two of the four PRF objectives: improved water quality and increasing citizen awareness. Specifically, these results include: improved stormwater management that mitigates flooding; promotes groundwater recharge; and reduces trash, thermal stress and other pollutant loadings and a more knowledgeable community that exhibits environmentally responsible behavior throughout their lives. The results will be completed by constructing a grass swale and a stormwater wetland that will capture the runoff from the Salvation Army parking area.
The Shelton Branch subwatershed of Richland Creek is a 2.1 sq. mile urban watershed that is almost entirely within the Town of Waynesville. Land uses are nearly all residential and commercial with abundant impervious surfaces. The Salvation Army is experiencing storm water from adjacent parking lot, building , and road are reaching Shelton Branch. Stream discharge becomes very high with just a little rainfall and our Integrated Pollutant Source Identification computer model shows all riparian habitat in the Shelton Branch subwatershed to be in marginal to inadequate condition. The combination of high discharges and poor vegetation has led to abundant eroding stream banks. Our temperature gauge in Richland Creek downstream of the Shelton Branch confluence indicates stream temperatures frequently exceed 70 degrees F during the summer, which is another result of impervious surfaces and poor tree cover. High temperatures are dangerous to cold-water adapted organisms, such as trout, that provide recreational and economic values. Richland Creek is on the 303(d) list of impaired waterways for biological integrity-fish, but due to improved water quality it was delisted in 2016. However, it remains on the list for fecal coliform (2020) and pH (2022 list). Partners are taking proactive steps to mitigate these issues. This includes focusing more attention on the tributaries, with Shelton Branch being of primary concern.
Shelton Branch Water Quality Feasibility Study
Timeframe | January 2022 - September 2022
Funding Source | TBD
Amount Awarded | TBD
Scope of Work