AmeriCorps Project Conserve Corner: Improving Our Water

My time at CMLC AmeriCorps Project Conserve with Asheville GreenWorks has been spent in waterways more than in offices. The more that I frequent the waters of western North Carolina, the more I recognize the need to be increasingly mindful of the anthropogenic impact on organisms, and the functions of the French Broad River Watershed. 

Though the water quality throughout most of the basin is good, agriculture and urbanization are impairing the middle and lower parts of the basin. These happen to be the areas where I work the most. The habitat necessary for the survival of the many species in the French Broad is sensitive, and slowly succumbing to the pressures of poorly managed development, pollution and urbanization. I am grateful for the flexibility of my position at Asheville GreenWorks, because it lets me pursue methods to alleviate some of these pressures on the waters of western North Carolina that I know and love.  

When I began my position at Asheville GreenWorks, I became responsible for the maintenance of our four trash booms, which are construction booms installed in four tributaries of the French Broad that collect litter without compromising the movement of aquatic organisms. Since my time at GreenWorks, and with the help of volunteers, we have retrieved 459 pounds of trash from these booms in just a few months. Seeing how effective these booms have been at reducing the amount of litter that flows into the French Broad River, efforts have been made to create a litter trap of a larger scale to prevent greater amounts of trash from being moved into the river.

This year, I am assisting with the installation of this new “Trash Trout” litter trap system. I am also working to restore eroding riverbanks along Hominy Creek. With the reduction of waste and sedimentation, I am gathering water quality data of Hominy Creek to determine how healthier the water is.

I am grateful for the opportunities that have opened up for me through CMLC AmeriCorps Project Conserve, and I am eager to see what I can do with the rest of my time to improve this lovely community that I call home!

Lillian Lovingood

CMLC AmeriCorps Project Conserve

Clean Communities Coordinator at Asheville GreenWorks

 

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