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About the South Chickamauga Creek
The South Chickamauga Creek Watershed has its origins in Georgia eventually emptying into Nickajack Lake portion of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It drains nearly 250,000 acres of land via an estimated 463 miles of streams including waters from West Chickamauga, Peavine, Tiger, Little Chickamauga and East Chickamauga Creeks. This large watershed makes up about 36% of all the drainage area into Nickajack Lake.
The watershed passes through ridge and valley topography with springs, caves, and wetlands as it flows through pastureland and forests in Georgia. South Chickamauga Creek gathers all its waters near East Ridge, Tennessee and then flows through typical bottomland woods, passing the airport and Brainerd Levee as well as urban, residential, and industrial areas.Special Features
Wildlife is easily seen if one were to walk or canoe along the creek. The federally protected snail darter exists in South Chickamauga Creek and the Brainerd Levee area plays host as a significant flyway for migrating waterfowl and shorebirds.
There are 19 listings on the National Register of Historic Places in the watershed including the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, Ringgold Depot, McLemore Cove Historic District, John Ross House, Gordon Lee House, Audubon Acres Archaeological Site, Ryall Springs, and Brainerd Mission Cemetery. Old Muskogean and Cherokee town sites line the creek.Threats
The water quality of the watershed is suffering for a number of reasons but poor animal waste and other agricultural practices along with poor new construction practices are the primary reasons for degraded water quality including a spike of increased sedimentation. The sedimentation comes from construction especially in the East Brainerd area along with the encroachment of new subdivisions on rural land in Georgia. Some residents in the Georgia section of the watershed have reported significant septic problems indicating poor soils for dense populations without sewer service.
South Chickamauga Creek waters enter the Tennessee River less than one mile upstream from the water intake for the Tennessee American Water Company that provides drinking water to 67,000 metered customers. Others in Georgia draw water from individual wells or from Yates Springs in Catoosa County.
All of these problems can lead to loss of biodiversity, erosion of landscape, algal growth, invasion of invasive plants, loss of recreational opportunities, increased flooding, health precautions, and loss of the aesthetic and cultural beauty the watershed provides.
South Chickamauga Creek Watershed Plan . pdf|
16 May 2009 - Celebrate SCC!