LONDON, Ky. - State and regional officials are planning a three-year study of a watershed area in southeastern Kentucky that is home to a declining population of threatened and protected mussels.
Sinking Creek in Laurel County meanders through the Daniel Boone National Forest before it feeds into a protected area of the Rockcastle River. Cumberland Valley Resource Conservation and Development Council spokeswoman Heather Miller told The Times Tribune the goal is to build a partnership with the community to support water quality in the diverse watershed that encompasses about 20 miles.
She said one problem is that official can't tell where contaminates in the creek are coming from.
"There are metals that have been detected, possibly from historic mining, some pathogens possibly field runoff from agriculture. They kind of know what's in there, but not the quantities. The whole point is to do a study that is consistent. This is not the first time it was looked at, but this is the first time there will be a long study and results," she said.
She said the University of Louisville has set up 10 testing sites where water samples will be taken.
"Ultimately, we hope to develop a watershed plan that will protect important aquatic habitat on the Sinking Creek watershed," she said.
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