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River cleanup reaches benchmark

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Nash County officials announced the completion of the Tar River and Stoney Creek Stream Debris Removal Project’s first phase last week.

Work on the 25-mile cleanup began in September 2018 with a crew removing natural debris from the Tar River starting at the reservoir dam and Stoney Creek in Nashville. Less than a year later, phase one of the project is complete with workers reaching the dam located at Rocky Mount Mills.

Nash County Soil and Water Conservation received two grants totaling $416,840 to initiate the massive project. The goal of the cleanup isn’t just for river aesthetics but also to be environmentally friendly. Soil and Water Director Valerie Harris said she hopes to see clear results the next time Nash County has a potential flood.

“Clearing fallen trees and limbs from the watercourses will hopefully increase the flow and help minimize the flooding we’ve seen from previous storms,” Harris said.

Problems from Stoney Creek backing up were brought to Wayne Outlaw’s attention from a concerned citizen, Tim Bartholomew. Outlaw, vice chairman of the Nash County Board of Commissioners, informed county staff who agreed that debris removal was warranted.

“I want to thank Mr. Bartholomew for bringing this matter to my attention,” Outlaw said. “Completion of the first phase of this project has made the waterways in Nash County a safer, healthier place for wildlife and our people.”

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