News | April 7, 2015

Tennessee’s Harpeth River among nation’s most endangered

Each year American Rivers names the Top 10 Endangered Rivers in the nation based on the magnitude of a threat to the river in the coming year and the overall significance of the river to people and the environment. This year the Harpeth River was named #9 Most Endangered River in the nation. SELC is working with Harpeth River Watershed Association to address those major threats that are endangering the beloved Harpeth River.

The health of the Harpeth River, a designated State Scenic River as it flows near metropolitan Nashville, TN, is being threatened by urbanization and development in one of the fastest growing regions of the country. While this scenic river is enjoyed by many outdoor enthusiasts, the Harpeth often struggles to meet water quality standards to support fish and aquatic life.

Last fall, SELC took action on behalf of Harpeth River Watershed Association (HRWA) in an effort to end illegal sewage discharge into the river and improve water quality. A settlement was reached with two wastewater treatment facilities along the Harpeth to expand water quality monitoring and develop a pollution management plan. SELC continues to represent HRWA in litigation against the City of Franklin to address violations of its permit and the Clean Water Act. In response to the HRWA’s actions to protect this endangered river, the city of Franklin filed a lawsuit against the nonprofit.

The time is now to help preserve the Harpeth River, one of the few remaining free-flowing rivers in Tennessee, and to collaborate on solutions that protect this special resource while supporting the diverse needs of our communities that depend on the river.  


Learn More:

See the full list of Top 10 Endangered Rivers report by American Rivers.

Read more about the selection of the Harpeth River as the #9 Most Endangered River in the nation. Learn about the significance of the river, the immediate threats to the river, what can be done, and how you can help.   

Read the article in The Tennesseean by Jill Cowan (April 7, 2015) about the listing of two rivers in Tennessee in the Top 10 Most Endangered Rivers of 2015.