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Collaboration and Partnerships

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Advancing Environmental Performance through Integrating Stewardship between Local Officials and the Development Community
EPA Region 4 - Atlanta

Geographic location or area of activity:  Stones River, Red River, and Cheatham Reservoir in northern Tennessee and southern Kentucky

Description of activity:  Across much of the Southeast, pollution by sedimentation and urban runoff in addition to increased challenges with stream flashiness has become apparent.  Much of this pollution is due to growth pressures, which will continue to escalate.  Region 4 states are losing more open space to sprawl than any other region in the country. Tennessee and Kentucky have a wealth of water resources that are becoming increasingly impaired because of growth and sprawl.  In an effort to preserve the clean water, bountiful crops, healthy fisheries, and abundant recreational opportunities they provide to the people of the area, this project will focus on the watersheds the Stones and Red Rivers and the Cheatham Reservoir, that cross state boundaries of Tennessee and Kentucky.

This project combines two efforts: education/action program on watershed management that integrates the best classes and learning tools available for local officials in two priority and one non-priority watersheds in two states in Region 4, and a demonstration of cutting-edge energy and water efficient design and construction methods for residential buildings and stormwater practices for the building community.  The joint effort will create a new efficient way of integrating local officials and the development community into developing and restoring sustainable communities in the Southeast.  The grant recipient will demonstrate this innovative strategy in the Stones, Red, and Cheatham Reservoir watersheds.  In addition, the recipient will partner with the University of Tennessee to lay the groundwork for a Tennessee Center for Watershed Excellence to continue and expand the project to additional citizen-run watershed organizations.  These efforts will enhance water quality through promoting stewardship.  Working with partners, such as the River Network, EPA, World Wildlife Fund and state universities, the recipient will also seek to replicate program elements elsewhere in the country.  This stewardship approach with local officials will address water quality, energy efficiency and indoor air quality through better site design/construction and residential home construction with streamlined permitting and ordinances, making it more cost-effective for builders to engage in these sustainable practices.

Interagency partners: Environmental Protection Agency; Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency; Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation

Local partners: Red River Watershed; Stones River Watershed; Germantown Partners (developers); Upstate Forever (Sensible Growth); Tennessee Environmental Council; Greater Nashville Regional Council; River Network; World Wildlife Fund's Southeast Rivers and Streams Program

Activity URL:  http://www.cumberlandrivercompact.org

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