KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — River and stream cleanups planned for 2022 are getting a boost from grants awarded by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, officials announced this week. TWRA says the grants were awarded to various organizations, including some from East Tennessee, for 19 projects across the state.

TWRA says the stream and aquatic cleanup grant program is designed to assist cities, schools, community organizations, civic groups, watershed organizations, and conservation groups, with stream clean-up projects.

The following East Tennessee groups received grants:

  • IJAMS Nature Center — Tennessee River-tributaries, creeks, and streams in Knox, Anderson, Blount and Loudon counties
  • Keep Cocke County Beautiful — Pigeon River, Cocke County
  • Norris Lake Project — Clinch River, Powell River, Gap Creek, Straight Creek, Cedar Creek, and Cool Branch Creek, Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne, Grainger, and Union counties.
  • Town of Farragut — Turkey Creek, Knox County

Ijams Nature Center hosts its annual Ijams River Rescue event that brings together 500-800 volunteers who remove tons of trash from the shores of the Tennessee River. The group reports that in 2020, 500 volunteers safely removed 12.6 tons of garbage from 32 sites.

Keep Cocke County Beautiful is a local chapter that is part of the Keep America Beautiful group.

The Norris Lake Project Team is a nonprofit that is organized “to preserve the natural beauty and conserve the natural resources of the Norris Lake Watershed area for the benefit of the residents and visitors to the area while assisting the local governments to combat the deterioration of natural resources in the surrounding communities.”

The Turkey Creek watershed runs and drains through the Town of Farragut; leaders say the Town has approximately 30 stream miles within its political borders including Turkey Creek, the North Fork of Turkey Creek and Little Turkey Creek — all of which are listed on the State’s 303(d) list of impaired streams.