AP: New maps show Southeast streams teeming with life

By David Cobb of the Chattanooga Times-Free Press.

Scientists have long known the streams, rivers and lakes of the Southeast to be teeming with aquatic biodiversity.

Now, thanks in part to a local organization, freshwater biologists have a set of detailed maps showing where that diversity is strongest and where it is most endangered.

Biologists from the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute in Chattanooga and the University of Georgia’s River Basin Center worked on the project with grant funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

The findings were recently published in an 86-page report expected to guide conservationists’ choices about which places and species to prioritize in their ongoing efforts to protect the region’s rich watersheds. It could also help with the acquisition of future grants and funding.

But Anna George, the Tennessee Aquarium’s vice president for conservation science and education, hopes the visual illustration of the area’s biodiversity resonates with the public, too.

“Freshwater doesn’t have large, charismatic animals,” George said. “There aren’t whales and dolphins, but what we do have is like a rainforest, where all these different species add up together for something beautiful and unique. It’s a point of pride, and what this work does is make it a little more easily understandable to people that aren’t scientists that we have this incredible biodiversity in the south.”

Nearly two-thirds of the country’s fish species are found in the Southeast. So are almost half of the world’s crayfish species and 90 percent of the nation’s mussel species.

The project relied on the Conservation Institute’s regional connections to gather data from museums, researchers, government reports and other agencies across 290 watersheds to be used in formulating the maps.

There’s more here.


Comments are closed.

learn

Wanted Dead: Alligatorweed

Scientific Name: Alternanthera philoxeroides A native of South America, alligatorweed was inadvertently introduced to Southeastern U.S. in the late 1800s. Its white flowers are clover-like and bloom a summer. Most commonly found floating in mats along the water’s edge, alligatorweed also grows immersed and even terrestrially. Its opposing leaves are lance shaped, 1-2 inches long, […]

Read more »

conserve

Storm Drain Marking Project

  Do you know where the water that flows into a storm drain goes? This water does not go to a treatment plant but flows directly into our streams, lakes, and rivers. Many people poor oil, paint, yard waste, and other pollutants into the storm drain because they think the water will be treated before […]

Read more »

experience

Kiosks help us tell the story

RiverLink and MountainTrue have developed informational kiosks for each river access point along the French Broad River Paddle Trail with a grant from the North Carolina Recreational Trails Program. Each kiosk focuses on historical and natural features of the river, as well as paddle trail information including maps and boater resources. These kiosks aid users and […]

Read more »

Upcoming Events

Get Volunteer Updates

Add your name and email to our volunteer list to receive new volunteer opportunities straight to your inbox at the start of each month.


By submitting this form, you are granting: RiverLink, 170 Lyman Street, Asheville, NC, 28801, permission to email you. You may unsubscribe via the link found at the bottom of every email. (See our Email Privacy Policy (http://constantcontact.com/legal/privacy-statement) for details.) Emails are serviced by Constant Contact.

Newsletter Sign-up

Get Involved

RiverLink is a
membership-driven
organization.

Volunteer »

Explore | View All

Water Quality

Recreation

Entertainment

Buy/Support

RiverLink Instagram

River Facts | View All

"The French Broad River is the third oldest river in the world."

Blue Ridge Heritage National Heritage Area