By Beth Lawrence

 

A local water conservation group is hosting an event to spread awareness and recruit volunteers to do the work of conservation.

Watershed Association of the Tuckaseigee River will hold a WATR Education and live music event from 7-10 p.m. Friday at The Cut Cocktail Lounge, 610 W. Main St. 

The goal of the event is to spread awareness of the importance of protecting rivers and the environments found in and around them.

“Clean water and a healthy ecosystem for the Tuckaseigee watershed means jobs, numerous economic benefits, spiritual recharge, outdoor adventures, biological diversity; and most importantly, healthy communities,” said Ken Brown, executive director of WATR. “We all have a role to play in protecting and educating our neighbors, visitors and community about what clean water in the Tuckaseigee Watershed means for all of us.”

A macroinvertebrate display will be available to teach the public about some of Jackson County’s smallest inhabitants. Macroinvertebrates have no backbones but are visible to the naked eye. 

Aquatic macroinvertebrates live on and around rocks and sediment in bodies of water.

Erosion, fluctuating water levels and pollution affect the ability of these organisms and others that inhabit water to thrive and contribute in their own way to a healthy ecosystem.

Other educational displays will be set up to share information on the health of the local watershed and how to protect it. WATR staff will be on hand to answer questions. 

Sign-up sheets for future stream clean-up events will be available.

The band Positive Mental Attitude will perform.

The Tuckaseigee watershed is comprised of 250 named streams and 4,600 miles of waterways which support local commerce, Brown said.

“Jackson businesses net millions of dollars from trout fishing in the Tuckaseigee watershed,” he said. “Preventing habitat degradation such as loss of vegetated buffers which are trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants that moderate stream temperatures and filter waterborne contaminants, sedimentation due to erosion caused by land development, poorly constructed and unmaintained driveways, channelized streams and livestock access in streams is critical to maintaining our status as the trout capital of North Carolina.”

For more information, call Brown at 506-0137 or email kenbrown@watrnc.org.