Clemson, partners to hold first public meeting about cleanup of Upstate creeks
CENTRAL — Clemson Cooperative Extension and more than a dozen partners have scheduled the first of several stakeholder meetings for the “Twelve Mile, Eighteen Mile and Golden Creek Watershed Plan,” which is being devised to clean up bacteria pollution in three major Upstate watercourses.
Through a combination of onsite visits, spatial data analysis and laboratory research, the plan’s developers have been studying ways to improve the water quality of the well-known creeks, all of which have been found to be impaired by monitoring agents with S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.
“We all want better quality water resources,” said Cal Sawyer, associate director of the Center for Watershed Excellence at Clemson University. “By attending and actively participating in the upcoming public meeting, local citizens can help improve the accuracy of the information we’re compiling and engage in the process of solving the persistent pollution problems in the affected watersheds.”
The Twelve Mile, Eighteen Mile and Golden Creek watersheds comprise more than 53,000 acres in the Piedmont area of South Carolina.
The agenda will include an introduction by Rocky Nation, professor of biology and chair of the Science Division at Southern Wesleyan. This will be followed by overviews of the watershed planning process by Sawyer and cohort Jeremy Pike, associate scientist in Clemson’s College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences. There will also be a question-and-answer session. Refreshments will be provided.
“The Upstate of South Carolina is fortunate to have what some parts of the world would consider a wealth of water resources, and water plays a significant biological, recreational and economic role in the well-being of the region,” Nation said. “However, what we enjoy in water quantity doesn’t always translate to water quality. Surface water can be impaired by a variety of causes, and awareness and education are important tools for protecting these resources. With water, we are all stakeholders and owe it to ourselves and future generations to not take this prosperity lightly.”
The Twelve Mile, Eighteen Mile and Golden Creek watersheds, which eventually drain into Hartwell Lake, comprise more than 69,000 acres in the Piedmont area of South Carolina. Developing the plan began in September 2015 and will continue through August 2016. It will take subsequent years to implement it.
For a list of partners involved in the project along with other information, visit the Clemson Area 319 Watershed Project website.