Welcome to our Watershed
The Upper Tennessee River Roundtable is a non-profit organization with an overall interest in improving water quality in the Upper Tennessee River Watershed. Don’t let the name confuse you: the Upper Tennessee River Roundtable is based in Southwest Virginia and covers from the very tip of Virginia, Lee County, toward Wythe County. The Roundtable represents a total of nine counties and two cities. Our major rivers include the Clinch, Holston (pictured at left), and Powell. (Image credit: USDA.)
The Upper Tennessee River watershed covers three rivers in Virginia: the Clinch, Holston, and Powell rivers. The Roundtable is active in water quality improvement efforts in all three of these rivers. The greater watershed is host to numerous species of fish, mussel, and other aquatic life species. In fact, according to the Nature Conservancy, the Upper Tennessee River watershed greatly exceeds all other watersheds in the lower 48 states in terms of species richness and diversity!
Species in Peril
At last count, our watershed had a whopping 48 imperiled and vulnerable fish and mussel species. This includes 21 federally endangered or threatened species! The Roundtable has been active in efforts to improve the numbers of individuals of threatened and endangered species in our region. Most recently, following a localized project undertaken by the Roundtable, the Lee County Isopod (pictured at left), at the time in danger of extinction, rebounded in greater numbers. (Image credit: Shane Hanlon, US Fish and Wildlife.)
Within the past few years, the Roundtable has grown tremendously in terms of on-site staff and projects, largely as a result of a targeted watershed grant awarded to the Roundtable by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.