The Morehead News

Local News

February 21, 2014

More money for Triplett Creek watershed

Feb. 21, 2014 —     The Triplett Creek watershed has received a $630,000 grant to help improve water quality.

    A recent announcement from the U. S. Department of Agriculture said a national initiative called the Chiefs' Joint Landscape Restoration Partnership is investing $30 million in 13 projects, including Triplett Creek.

    The Natural Resources Conservation Service and U.S. Forest Service have agreed on multi-year partnerships that will focus on mitigating wildfire threats to communities and landowners, protecting water quality, and supply and improving wildlife habitat.”

    April Haight, director of Morehead State University’s Center for Environmental Education, said the new grant is 60 percent federal funds while the remaining 40 percent is coming from landowners and others in the community.

    Haight said the money will go for work on stream banks upstream from MSU's water supply intake on Bridge Street and to protect locations along the stream to control flooding and improve water quality.

    “Triplett Creek is the primary raw water source for Morehead State University,” she said. “The quality of water there is very important to all those students and others who utilize water on campus, not only for drinking but for recreation and tourism for the community.”

    Heavy rainfalls have taken a toll on the watershed area and causing numerous problems because of erosion.

    “This community has had its share of flooding,” she added. “We can't avoid natural events but we can try to improve the situations. We will be selecting projects to help both water quality and quantity.”

    She added that funds from a previous grant remain available.

    “This is the second grant we have received for the watershed,” said Haight. “The first grant was about $1.1 million. That paid for all of the watershed plan and sampling that was needed, along with the project at Sugar Branch.

    “We have about $100,000 left from the original grant.  We plan to use those funds for smaller projects downtown with the city along with other community outreach programs.”

    Haight said the reason they could apply for the new grant was due to progress and plan management applied during the initial grant.

    “The watershed plan we created last year will allow the city to apply for grants like these much easier,” she said.  “The process to apply without the plan is very time- consuming and consumes resources. As long as federal funds are available and they are distributed to the states, Morehead and Rowan County will be at the top of the list.”

    Haight said the watershed project is a long process that takes constant work.

    “The main focus is on stream restoration and stream banks,” she said. “All the sediment and issues surrounding our waterways such as faulting stream banks are issues that that will be worked on. Hopefully, we continue to work on the projects in the watershed area and, in turn, receive more funding.”

    Brad Stacy can be reached at bstacy@themoreheadnews.com or by telephone at 784-4116.

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