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Tennessee Healthy Watershed Initiative

This program strives to fund projects all across the state that will help to protect and restore the water resources in Tennessee. These grants do not occur in a regular cycle, but rather when funding opportunities become available.  Any announcements for future grants and requests for proposals will be announced stay tuned!  

Active Grants  ($386,387 awarded in 2017):

  • Cumberland River Compact - Protecting Mill Creek's Headwaters ($123,750)
  • TenneSEA (Tennessee Student Environmental Alliance) - Watershed Restoration through Community Engagement and establishing a network of Urban BMP’s ($78,500)
  • University of Tennessee Knoxville - Assessing Functional Lift Through Improved Monitoring and Assessment Techniques for Stream Restoration Projects ($94,846)
  • Clinch Powell RC & D - Clinch and Powell Rivers Blueways Trail Development and Watershed Restoration Project ($89,291)


The Tennessee Healthy Watershed Initiative (THWI ) began as a collaboration of federal, state and nonprofit organizations committed to maintaining and improving water resources in Tennessee watersheds. The THWI was launched in 2011 under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) executed by The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), The Tennessee Chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and West Tennessee River Basin Authority (WTRBA).  The MOU signatories recognized that many groups, both governmental and non-governmental all have an interest in and a role in the health of Tennessee watersheds. This initiative provided a structure to bring those interested parties together. 

Today, under the leadership of TDEC, the THWI continues to be a strong collaboration of those founding THWI partners.  We are utilizing this initiative to continue to provide a forum for communication, collaboration, and thoughtful planning among a broad partnership of agencies and interests.  We continue to coordinate implementation of protection and improvement efforts for Tennessee’s water resources. 

The overall goals of Tennessee Healthy Watershed Initiative are :
1. To establish and nurture partnerships that lead to the implementation of critical projects to protect and improve the state of watersheds in Tennessee; 
2. To continue to work together to prevent watersheds from becoming impaired and to accelerate restoration of impaired streams;
3. To encourage the exchange of information, coordination, and planning among agencies, citizens, and communities to achieve healthy watersheds;
4. To encourage and assist with the application of good science to comprehensive and collaborative strategies for healthy watershed planning; and
5. To focus stakeholder programs and resources toward collaborative initiatives, promoting better decisions on spending available resources, and increasing the opportunity to protect and improve multiple resources and watersheds.

Projects funded under the THWI:


  • Brown's Mill Lowhead Dam Removal on the East Fork of the Stones River (TWRA-$35,000)
  • Doe Mountain Recreation Area Master Plan: A Blueprint for Complementary Tourism Development and Water Natural Resources Protection (TNC-$100,000)
  • Clinch Powell Clean Rivers Initiative- Enhancing Multi-Agency Coordination for Conservation Impacts (TNC-$157,300)
  • Harrell Road Stormwater Demonstration Park (Knox County-$95,400)
  • HEART of the Hiwassee Initiative (Land Trust of TN-$45,000)
  • Normal Park Upper Museum Magnet School Stormwater Mitigation and Watershed Educational Design (Normal Park School Chattanooga-$98,800)
  • Obed Watershed Water Resources Planning Tools and Monitoring Procedures to Assess Future Economic Growth (TTU-$145,000)
  • Sandy Creek : Erosion Mitigation and Hydrologic Restoration of an Urban Stream (WTRBA-$56,800)
  • Shelby Farms Trails Gateway Improvements (Shelby County-$44,400)
  • A Destination for Learning about Tennessee Healthy Watersheds: Examples of Innovative and Interactive Urban Stormwater Best Management Strategies in Middle Tennessee (Wilson County-$134,000)
  • Cane Creek Tributary Restoration and Stormwater Biofiltration Project (WTRBA-$32,000)
  • Regenerative Stormwater Conveyances: An Innovative Watershed Management Tool for Tennessee (UTK-$113,000)
  • Determinations of the Currently Unknown Composition and Structure of Algae Assemblages in Middle Tennessee Streams Needed to Document and Monitor the Effects of Water Quality (APSU-$20,000) 
  • Clinch Powell Clean Rivers Initiative-Enhancing Multi-Agency Coordination for Conservation Impacts Phase II (TNC-$100,000)
  • Enhancing widespread water quantity and quality control though implementation and dissemination of the Tennessee Runoff Reduction Assessment Tool (RRAT) to assist in the design and evaluation of runoff reduction Low Impact Development (LID) practices (UTK-$90,000)
  • Bailey Fork Creek Floodplain Restoration to Reduce Valley-Plug Expansion and Restore Bottomland Hardwood Forests (WTRBA-$135,000)