Harpeth Conservancy Launches New Water Reporter Initiative

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Harpeth Conservancy Launches New Water Reporter Initiative

Harpeth Conservancy is holding the first training session for its new citizen science program on Thursday at 2:00 pm at Harpeth River State Park Highway 100 Canoe Access.

NASHVILLE, TN (March 08, 2018) — On Thursday, March 08 at 2:00 pm, Harpeth Conservancy will host the first training session for its new citizen science program, Water Reporter, at the Harpeth River State Park Highway 100 Canoe Access. Interested community members can come learn about the new initiative and how they can easily help monitor their local waterways using only their smartphones.

“With environmental issues such as algae blooms, hazardous spills, and pollution threatening our rivers, we need citizens throughout Tennessee to be on the lookout,” said Daniel Fitzgerald, Harpeth Conservancy’s science director. “Whether you cross a stream on your drive to work, walk or bike a greenway occasionally, or are on the river every chance you get, Water Reporter is a great way to be the eyes and ears of our waterways.”

In Tennessee, half of the stream and river miles assessed by the state do not meet water quality standards that are set to protect public health and wildlife. March marks the beginning of the 2018 sampling season to collect crucial data on algae and their impact on water quality within the Harpeth River. These studies will become the basis for a pollution reduction plan for the Harpeth River, a collaboration with state and local governments, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other partners throughout the watershed that began in 2015.

Harpeth Conservancy has raised nearly $150,000 in private dollars since 2013, and leveraged over $300,000 additional dollars through settlement agreements and federal partnerships to collect data in support of the pollution reduction plan. Now, Harpeth Conservancy is asking community members to help improve our understanding of the river even further. “Data collected on Water Reporter informs work for the pollution reduction plan by highlighting areas prone to algae blooms, and allows citizens to be directly involved in the larger effort to remove the State Scenic Harpeth River from the list of impaired waterways,” Fitzgerald added.

This project is supported by the Community Foundation of Middle TN, the Barbara J. Mapp Foundation, and the TN Valley Authority.  

About Harpeth Conservancy

Harpeth Conservancy is a science-based conservation organization founded in 1999 as the Harpeth River Watershed Association. Harpeth Conservancy’s mission is to restore and protect clean water and healthy ecosystems for rivers in Tennessee by employing scientific expertise and collaborative relationships to develop, promote and support broad community stewardship and action. Harpeth Conservancy works with landowners, businesses, community, local, state, and federal decision makers and others to foster solutions that reduce pollution and maintain healthy areas. Learn more at www.harpethconservancy.org.