Division of Water
$728,270 Grant Awarded to Protect Clarks River Watershed
The Kentucky Division of Water has announced the award of a $728,270 grant to the Jackson Purchase Resource Conservation and Development Foundation for improving water quality and preventing nonpoint source pollution in the Upper East Fork of Clarks River in Calloway, Marshall and McCracken counties. The award includes a $436,970 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and $291,300 in nonfederal matching funds.
“This grant will fund efforts to help control pollution from sediment, pesticides and other substances that run off the land when it rains,” said Robert D. Vance, secretary of the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet. “Due to the agricultural nature of the region, the introduction of best management practices will have a significant impact on reducing nonpoint sources of pollution.”
Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution is the primary contributor to water pollution in Kentucky, accounting for approximately two-thirds of water quality impairments in Kentucky’s streams and lakes. Unlike pollution from industrial and sewage treatment plants, NPS pollution is caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground. As the runoff moves, it picks up and carries pollutants, finally depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters and even underground aquifers.
Sections of the Upper East Fork of Clarks River have been listed as a first-priority impaired stream by the Kentucky Division of Water due to the presence of pathogens, siltation, organic enrichment/low dissolved oxygen and nutrients.
The Clarks River project will address the significant sources of pollution, develop practical solutions, such as best management practices, and prioritize project implementation. The goals are to improve species habitat, improve water quality and reduce the threat of nonpoint source pollution from all sources in the tributaries and main stem of the East Fork Clarks River watershed.
The Four Rivers Basin Team, a volunteer watershed group, will assist with stream sampling, field assessment and data analysis.
In 1987 the federal Clean Water Act amendments created a national program to control nonpoint source pollution, established under Section 319 of the act. Each year, Kentucky receives up to $3.5 million in federal financial assistance for watershed restoration projects and watershed implementation plan development as well as other nonpoint source pollution control projects. Funds can be used to pay for up to 60 percent of the total cost for each project.
In Kentucky, the Division of Water is responsible for administering the state 319 program. Further information about the Section 319 program is available at http://water.ky.gov/publicassistance/funding/nps.