In certain cases, it is not simple to identify the reason a stream is unhealthy or cannot support aquatic life without extended periods of monitoring. Most often, there are other types of pollution, such as siltation or loss of vegetation, found at these sites. There are, however, certain cases in which “unknown” is the only cause of impairment- at these sites, further monitoring and investigation is needed in order to facilitate the reestablishment of the biological community.
How You Can help
Are you a member of a group or organization in your community that would be interested in adopting this waterway? Contact the Cumberland River Compact if you’re interested in learning more about stream adoption.
Report any acid mine drainage, extremely polluted sites, or suspected environmental violations to the EPA. If you live in Kentucky, also report the problem to the KY Division Water and/or the Division of Mine Reclamation and Enforcement.
1) Report Abandoned Mine Drainage - EPA
2) KY Division of Water's Citizen Concerns and Complaints Hotline - 502-564-2340
3) KY Division of Mine Reclamation and Enforcement Hotline - 502-564-2340
Participate in community planning efforts and advocate for relevant measures that improve or protect water quality. Write to your elected official and let them know this is concern or invite them to speak about the impairment with your home-owners association. When elections come up, vote for candidates who will address the problem and hold them accountable to their promises. Support local watershed / environmental associations.
1) Advocacy Toolkit - TN Environmental Council
2) Find Your Legislators - Federal Legislators; State Legislators (KY/TN); Local Legislators (KY/TN) 3) A number of organizations work to address impacts to communities from mining in our basin. They include Appalachian Citizens Law Center, Appalachian Mountain Advocates, Appalachian Voices, KY Waterways Alliance, Southern Environmental Law Center, Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment.
Do your neighbors, family, or roommates know about the problem? Now that you know how to be an effective steward, enlist the help of others in your neighborhood. Share iCreek or resources within it with your neighbors and encourage them to join the effort to protect your creek.