Watershed Restoration

Haywood Waterways’ purpose is to protect clean waterways and improve those that are degraded. Our education and public outreach efforts are the long-term solutions but watershed restoration best management practices, or BMPs, provide the immediate and direct benefits.

Thermal Stress

When it rains, the transfer of heat energy from an impervious surface (ex. parking lot, roof tops) to a nearby stream. Haywood County waterways are primarily “cold-water” streams, meaning they typically remain below 70° F and support aquatic life that require low temperatures and lots of oxygen, such as trout, darters, stoneflies, and mayflies. Temperature probes in Richland Creek and Raccoon Creek indicate both streams exceed 80° F in the summer. If that doesn’t kill aquatic organisms, it can affect feeding and reproduction.

Types of Pollutants

  • Sediment
  • Animal waste
  • Human waste
  • Fertilizers
  • Pesticides
  • Household and and other hazardous chemicals
  • Fluids leaking from cars
  • Trash
  • Thermal stress

Examples of BMPs include stabilizing eroding stream banks, livestock exclusion fencing and watering tanks, repairing failing septic systems, stormwater collection and treatment devices, establishing conservation easements, promoting low impact development, and planting streamside vegetation.

Partnerships are essential because restoration work can be a complicated and lengthy process. We partner with public agencies, community organizations, businesses, and willing property owners. Each partner brings specific skills to help complete these projects, such as technical knowledge, financial resources, labor, or even equipment. Our primary partners are the Southwestern Resource Conservation & Development Council, Haywood Soil & Water Conservation District, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, and Haywood County Environmental Health Department.

Our most recent project will begin in the Fines Creek Watershed.

Two examples of successful restoration projects are:
Richland Creek Watershed Restoration Project
Hyatt Creek Restoration Project

We also help with other local, regional, and state efforts working to promote practices that reduce water quality degradation and raise awareness of clean water benefits. Examples include:

Need help? Contact:
Eric Romaniszyn, Haywood Waterways Association at info@haywoodwaterways.org or 828-476-4667.
Duane Vanhook at the Haywood Soil & Water Conservation District at 828-452-2741
John Ottinger with the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service at 828-452-2741