The Hiwassee River

By: Ashley London and Ryann Stephens

The Location of the Hiawassee River

The Hiwassee river is located in the origin of the headwaters which are located in the mountains of Georgia and North Carolina. The river veers west into the Tennessee to join the Tennessee river. The Hiwassee river has a total of 931 miles of streams and rivers. The river holds a population of 38,237 people.

Description of the Hiwassee River

A major important place in the river is the Nottely and Valley rivers in Clay and Cherokee counties. These three rivers Apalachia, Hiwassee and Chatug capture the flow of the Hiwassee River in the North Carolina portion of the basin. The Hiawassee river offers many activities such as hiking, paddaling and biking. The clay county schools have created a four acre outdoor classroom with a 1,100- foot boardwalk with an observation deck and trails. Another area that this river offers is the Tusquitee Mountains in the Nantahala National Forest. Lastly it offers the beautiful Cove hardwood forest found in the town of Murphy.

Non-point and Point Source Pollution

Two of the non-point sources are clearing of trees and shrubs along land bordering streams and wetlands degrades habitat, and it contributes to erosion and flooding, and when land is disturbed whether for agriculture or residential and commercial development or sediment washes into streams,this makes the water muddy which harms aquatic organisms and their habitat. A solution to this problem is stop cutting the trees and shrubs near the river and find another place to do this or pick up the scraps before it can flow into the river.

Point Source Pollution

Point source pollution examples for this river would be sediment gathers together on the bottoms of streams and rivers which harms the aquatic insects and is vital reproduction. Another example would be run-off construction sites, pastures, roads and developed areas carry a lot of sediment. This causes eroded soil that falls into the river. The solution to this would be moving all the pastures and construction sites from the river. This can stop the sediments running into the river and stop the dying of the aquatic organisms.
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