River Science

The Harpeth Conservancy Science & Restoration program plans and implements projects that protect and improve water quality and stream ecosystem health in Tennessee rivers. These projects can be divided into two categories: (1) River science research (2) Environmental restoration activities

What We Do

We carry out a large variety of science and restoration projects every year, with assistance from experts, dedicated volunteers, governmental agencies, corporate partners, civic groups, and other watershed stakeholders. Our restoration efforts, ranging from river cleanups to streambank stabilization, ultimately reduce pollution to the river, enhance habitat, and protect aquatic wildlife.  Our science research seeks to strategically study and monitor our rivers to better understand their overall health as well as current and potential threats such as pollution and degradation.

Impairments in the Harpeth River

Based on 2016 assessment information from the Tennessee Department of Environmental Conservation (TDEC), 73 of the 126 miles (58%) of the main river channel do NOT meet state water quality standards set to protect public health and wildlife. The river is impaired due to high levels of bacteria, low dissolved oxygen levels, phosphorus pollution, sedimentation/siltation, contaminated sediments (e.g., lead), and alterations in stream-side vegetative cover.

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