Watershed-scale Project in Oostanaula Creek
Walker, F. R., C. D. Clark, M. E. Essington, S. A. Hawkins, D. M. Lambert, A. Layton, J. Schwartz, and L. Reynolds.  2016.  Presentation at USDA NIFA Annual Project Directors meeting, Washington DC. October 21, 2016.

The Oostanaula Creek watershed in eastern Tennessee is typical of the ridge and valley region that occupies much of the eastern United States along the Appalachian Mountain chain from central Mississippi to southern New York. Ridge and valley regions are characterized by rolling hills and many meandering tributaries. Agriculture operations are typically located in the low lying areas. The issues facing the Watershed are common throughout the ridge and valley region; e.g., urbanization and water quality degradation. This project demonstrated how we can use the best available science to identify sources of non-point pollution (bacteria and sediment) in the watershed, prioritize and implement practices to reduce non-point pollution and educate stakeholders on the use of best management practices that maintain agricultural productivity without negatively impacting environmental quality. We identified some of the dominant sources of fine sediment to Oostanaula Creek watershed, conducted economic cost-benefit analysis of sediment source-dependent BMPs specific to the Oostanaula Creek watershed and assess the behavior response of farmer willingness to implement sediment BMPs. Our comprehensive watershed-wide education program informed farmers, youth and adult residents about the importance of maintaining and improving water quality in the Watershed and conduct educational events throughout the Watershed to demonstrate that BMPs can simultaneously improve water quality and increase agricultural productivity.