A $500 grant was awarded to Haywood Waterways Association by the Haywood County Community Foundation to expand Haywood Waterways’ sediment monitoring program and establish five new monitoring sites in the Raccoon Creek watershed.
The new sites will help identify areas where sediment, the top water quality problem in Haywood County, is running off. Once identified, Haywood Waterways and its partners can seek grants to assist willing landowners correct these problems.
The sediment monitoring program in the Raccoon Creek Watershed is a smaller part of a county-wide effort that was started more than nine years ago.
In 2006, the state designated as “impaired” sections of Richland and Raccoon creeks, meaning there weren’t as many fish and bug species as a clean stream should have. Haywood Waterways and its partners, including Haywood Soil & Water Conservation District, are working to reduce sedimentation throughout the Richland Creek Watershed, which includes Raccoon Creek.
Sediment enters streams and lakes though erosion and runoff. Once in the water sediment fills the spaces between rocks and smothers the spaces where macroinvertebrate insects live and fish lay eggs. Sediment also clogs intake pipes for industry and agriculture, as well as favorite swimming holes.