Aquatic Habitat Study of the Powell River With Lincoln Memorial University
As far as prior scientific studies are concerned, we found out that the Powell River was playing a distant second place to the Clinch River. The Clinch and the Powell are both free flowing rivers (no upstream dams) and they are the two primary tributaries to Norris Lake, a very large TVA lake in Eastern Tennessee.
Well Being Foundation has donated $10,000 to Lincoln Memorial University for an Aquatic Habitat Study of 5 miles of the Powell River, including the 2 ½ mile perimeter of Well Being Foundation’s property. LMU has matched the donation and US Fish & Wildlife subsequently agreed to donate $2,500 to this effort.
Work on this study has progressed under the direction of Dr. Agnes (“Aggy”) Vanderpool, an Environmental Science Professor at Lincoln Memorial University (LMU).
LMU Student Interns of Dr. Vanderpool worked intensively on the Powell River during 2010 through 2014, collecting macro invertebrate samples, mapping the river substrate with Geographical Information System (GIS) instruments, and testing river water samples. The monthly water samples were tested for eight water quality parameters: temperature, turbidity, pH, dissolved oxygen, total ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, and phosphorous. The field work for the river frontage at Well Being Foundation was completed in 2010. The upstream 2 ½ miles was similarly investigated in 2011 and analysis of the data followed.
Based on Dr. Vanderpool’s initial findings, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has become increasingly interested in utilizing several locations of the Powell River for the reintroduction of certain rare and endangered species of freshwater mussels and, in 2014, re-introduced over 6,000 endangered species mussels raised at Virginia Tech Mussel Lab back into four locations on the Powell River.
Well Being Foundation has subsequently teamed up with Lincoln Memorial University on LMU’s successful $16,500 grant request with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) to conduct further research of the upper Powell River.
Well Being Foundation is pleased to help initiate this level of interest in the health of the Powell River.