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Ecosystem Enhancement Program

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Project Partners

 Little Tennessee Watershed Association, Land Trust for the Little Tennessee, Macon County Soil & Water Conservation District, Macon County Planning Board, N.C. Cooperative Extension Service, N.C. Natural Heritage Program, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, N.C. Division of Water Quality, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Southwestern Resource Conservation & Development Council, Western Carolina University, Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory, Town of Franklin, Tennessee Valley Authority, Duke Energy, Macon County public schools, and local citizens and landowners.

EEP Watershed Planners: Andrea Leslie and

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Franklin-to-Fontana Local Watershed Plan
Macon and Swain counties

 A wealth of partners came together beginning in 2008 to collaborate on the plan, an initiative studying 154 square miles and five hydrologic units comprising the Little Tennessee River and its tributaries downstream of the Cullasaja River to Lake Fontana.  A 56-square mile area with the most at-risk level of ecological function became the focus of the planning initiative. 

Major watershed stressors identified in the focus area, for which specific watershed management and project recommendations were developed, include lack of woody riparian vegetation; channel modification; excessive sediment and nutrient inputs; bacterial contamination; stormwater runoff; tomato farming pesticides; and barriers to fish passage.  The plan spawned a successful 319 program (N.C. Division of Water Quality) grant application in 2012 to address causes of impairment in three of the most degraded streams in the LWP area – Iotla Branch, Cat Creek and Rabbit Creek – and to carry out a five-part local watershed education program. 
 
Plan completed: 2011

Local Watershed Plans:

EEP uses watershed planning to identify the best locations to implement stream, wetland and riparian-buffer restoration. The planning process considers where mitigation is needed and how EEP's mitigation efforts might contribute to the improvement of water and habitat quality in the state.

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The N.C. Ecosystem Enhancement Program's mission is to restore and protect North Carolina’s natural resources for future generations while supporting responsible economic development.

EEP utilizes receipts from its programs to restore streams and wetlands where the need is greatest by working with state and local partners, including willing landowners. The N.C. Department of Transportation and other developers voluntarily use EEP to move projects forward in a timely and affordable manner.

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