Programs Working to Protect the Rivers and Tributaries
The principal theme across all of our programs is to provide effective methods to protect the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers and tributaries. Learn more about each of our programs below.
Riverkeeper Patrol Program
As both the functional and symbolic centerpiece of Tennessee Riverkeeper’s services, the Riverkeeper Patrol Program is a continuous and primary focus for the organization. We are set apart from many other watershed advocacy groups by following the “Waterkeeper Model” of on-water vigilance. Over 200 Waterkeeper groups worldwide follow Hudson Riverkeeper’s historic model for watershed protection. Tennessee Riverkeeper follows this Waterkeeper blueprint. The Riverkeeper Patrol program identifies pollution problems throughout our region, works with experts to resolve pollution issues, and educates the public about pollution threats facing their water. We educate citizens with frequent presentations to groups, by sending newsletters and e-newsletters to members, and through our award-winning online outreach, the Riverkeeper Patrol program informs the public of problems we find.
Tennessee Riverkeeper’s staff and volunteers educates the public about the Cumberland and Tennessee River watersheds on everything from general environmental and geography information to the pollution issues that threaten the public’s water supply.
Tennessee Riverkeeper’s legal program seeks to address pollution by utilizing litigation when appropriate. Environmental laws such as the Federal Clean Water Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act provide for citizen enforcement actions against polluters for civil penalties and to enjoin violations. The organizations prosecuting attorney works with the staff Riverkeeper, volunteers, experts, and other lawyers to stop and remediate illegal pollution problems using citizen enforcement provisions to enforce state and federal environmental laws.