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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Annual Gathering Highlights and Volunteer Cheers

Laura Lloyd
Holly and Barry Tashian
RCWA's 2011 Annual Membership Gathering last weekend at West Meade's Abintra Montesorri School was a success thanks to many people.  School cooridnator, Laura Lloyd wholeheartedly welcomed RCWA and the community space was perfect. Thanks for making it so easy and comfortable for us!  The Tashins' bluegrass rooted sound transformed the happening— filled the room with upbeat musical vibes. Thanks Barry and Holly for sharing your talent and music!  RCWA volunteers — Eleanor Synder, Susan Fisher, Paul Picilli, Sue Shann, Catherine Hayden and Steph Swartz made our event planning, set up, parking and clean up painless and flawless. Big thanks to everyone! Your food choices perfect.

This year's program highlighted streams running through negihborhoods and stakerhoders as the voice for creek life.  Environmental concerns announced prompted community questions. Results from RCWA"s summer dissolved oxygen study finding oxygen levels below regulatory requirements (5 mg/L) specifically were surprising.

The focus for the RCWA summer study was to evaluate if the use of creek water for irrigation during dry periods was inhibiting healthy dissolved oxygen levels from being maintained. Even though a longer and more costly study certainly would have provided more expansive data our results support Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency's comment  — "an identifiable source of degradation is a Metro water withdrawal at Richland Creek Mile (RCM) 5.0 in the McCabe Park area."The first two days of the RCWA study found 8 out of 32 dissolved oxygen measurements (25%) fell below regulatory requirements — stream conditions were inhospitable to fish and aquatic life.  Before the third and final test day it rained and consequently creek conditions quickly improved, indicating the previous poor conditions were due to the lack of water flow in the stream.

RCWA will work to compile a report about our work and present it to decisions makers. The volunteer spirit is alive and well and lets give our Citizen Scientists a big hand:  Darlene Panvini, Holly and David Resuehr, Laurel Donahue, Jeff Recker, Steve Curnutte, Joel Covington, Mark Woods and Thomas Herbert and who represent several neighborhoods in our watershed.  

Thanks and Cheers to Volunteers.....

The Richland Creek Watershed Alliance's stream monitoring program was made possible by assistance provided by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and World Wildlife Fund.

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