Mill Creek Cleanup

While many people don’t even know it exists, Nashville's Mill Creek is an example of how many urban streams fight for survival.

When most of us think of protecting natural places and the wild creatures that live there, images of vast wilderness and remote mountains and streams usually come to mind. But there are many wild places in need of protection right in the middle of our biggest cities and towns…places like Mill Creek. Home of the federally endangered Nashville Crayfish, Mill Creek flows for 20 miles, mostly through Davidson County. While many don’t even know it exists, this creek is an example of how many urban streams fight for survival, often with the help of dedicated friends like the ones Wild Side Guide Ken Tucker found out on the water one Saturday morning.

According to the Army Corps of Engineers, over 16 of Mill Creek’s 20 miles are listed as impaired by the state. That means with increasing development and other causes such as siltation and low oxygen levels, the stream still faces an uncertain future.

Protecting rivers and streams is a personal endeavor because it starts with individuals. Everything we do can affect our water supply, from where we throw our trash to what we wash down the drain. But it’s also a community endeaver. We all live downstream. Our watersheds are really communities connected by water…and it’s up to all of us to take care of ourselves and our neighbors. Sometimes that means cleaning up messes left by others. If you would like to get involved, here are some organizations that could use your help.

Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association

Nashville Clean Water Project

Harpeth River Watershed Association

Wolf River Conservancy

Sierra Club Water Sentinels

Cumberland River Compact

From show 2608.

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