County presents Watershed Assessment

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 18, 2007

LINDEN &8212; Officials from the Marengo County Soil and Water Conservation District and U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Services presented the results of the 2007 Watershed Assessment for Marengo County at a public meeting on Friday.

According to Gunn these assessments are used to determine problem areas in the state and create a priority list for fixing these problems.

A watershed is any area of land that catches rain or snow and drains or seeps into a marsh, stream, river, lake or groundwater. In Marengo County alone there are 628,326 acres of watershed, with 11 major watershed areas.

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Brock Reynolds, who headed up the report, said the assessment showed the watershed which ranked highest on the list, meaning it had the most significant problems, was Big Prairie Creek in the Faunsdale and Uniontown area.

The report showed Big Prairie Creek as the only 303-d classified watershed in the county. This measurement represents a creek or river which has been evaluated by the Alabama Department of Economic Management.

The last time the creek was evaluated was in 2002, where ADEM found there were critically high levels of organic enrichment and siltation nutrients caused by municipal pasture grazing.

According to Gunn, there are things the NRCS can do to help landowners establish other water sources to keep cattle away from the creeks. A program known as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program can assist farmers by sharing the cost of these projects.

Despite Big Prairie Creek&8217;s status as a 303-d watershed, Reynolds said it is well on its way to recovery.