Pollution Control in Tennessee River Using Long-Term Solutions


Located between Knoxville and Paducah, Tennessee, the Tennessee River seems to be a 652 mile-long waterway that empties into the Ohio River after flowing through the state. The Clinch River, a Little Tennessee River, and the Hiwassee River, among many others, are among the Tennessee’s significant tributaries.

Its strategic position, abundant water supply, and diverse species have all contributed to the Tennessee River’s economic importance since it was named after the Tenasi Nation. The Tennessee River’s basin is home to more than 5 million people.

With the help of FDR’s New Deal as well as the Tennessee Valley Authority, this river was updated for use in commerce, energy generation, and flood-control applications.

Despite this, the Tennessee River has become subject to the worst plastics and chemical pollution seen in a riparian environment anywhere in the United States as a result of the economic growth that has occurred along its shorelines.

It will need the active collaboration of civil society groups, local enterprises, and appropriate regional authorities to effectively address this problem in the long term. Their only hope of attaining a more safe and healthy Tennessee River watershed is to collaborate with one another.

Interest In The Biodiversity Of The Tennessee River

There are nearly 300 kinds of fish in the Tennessee River, as well as 125 types of mussels, making one of the most bio – diverse ecosystems in all of North America, according to the Tennessee River Commission.

According to a research conducted by Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute & the University of Georgia, there are more than 1400 species living within the river’s watershed in total.

Environmental authorities have labelled 28 percent of these fish species as endangered or imperilled, despite the fact that a quarter of the these fish species were found nowhere else on the whole planet.

When It Comes To Damage, Shipping, And Energy

Significant amounts of government money were spent in large-scale infrastructure projects around the United States as part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal policies. The Tennessee Valley Authority was one of the most well-known outcomes of this project (TVA).

When the Great Depression was at its worst, it was created in 1933 as a government agency tasked with ensuring that the nation’s infrastructure was safe.


Building hydroelectric power plants to supply electricity to the surrounding area and putting in place flood control measures are among the projects underway.

In the course of these endeavours, various dams were built, such as the Kentucky,  Wheeler, Pickwick, Nickajack, as well as the nuclear power plant at Watts Bar in Tennessee.

Ultimately, the venture was financially successful, as the Tennessee River became a viable trading route and a lucrative source of energy production. As a result, according to the TVA, since about 2019, 28,000 barges moved between 45 and 50 million tonnes of transporting commodities through river waters. The freshly electrified region gained in popularity, resulting in an influx of new inhabitants and companies to the area.


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