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New River Basin Maps Released by the Kentucky Geological Survey

Lexington, Ky. (July 6, 2009)—Stepping back to look at the big picture can help with understanding the smaller details of an area. That’s the idea behind new maps of the seven major river basins of Kentucky, being published by the Kentucky Geological Survey at the University of Kentucky.

Each of these publications, created by Dan Carey of the KGS Geospatial Analysis Section, is actually much more than simply a map. A topographic map occupies the center of each large-format publication, depicting the major rivers and streams, lakes, highways, counties, and cities in the basin. Surrounding the central map is a wealth of additional information in text, tables, and illustrations. The illustrations show resources, activities, and terrain features associated with the basin. Information on the communities that draw water supplies from the basin and boat docks on streams and lakes is also included.

“Someone called asking for a map of the Kentucky River Basin,” says Carey, “and since we knew of nothing like that already available, we decided to make a map for each major basin in Kentucky. I think they will put each river basin of Kentucky in context and help people visualize the basin for its extent, the communities it affects, and the resources associated with each basin.”

Carey drew data from a variety of sources, including River Basin Coordinating Committees, the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority, the State’s Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“Because these maps combine information from a variety of sources, including our own Division of Water and our river basin coordinators, we believe they provide a valuable integrated overview of the major river basins in Kentucky,” says Len Peters, secretary of the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet. “The maps include links to further information on the basins, and should be of interest to planners, environmentalists, educators, boaters, fishermen, and anyone who lives in or has an interest in a particular basin.”

Maps of the Kentucky River Basin (KGS Map and Chart 188), Licking River Basin (Map and Chart 191), Upper Cumberland (Map and Chart 190), Green River/Tradewater (Map and Chart 189), and Big Sandy/Little Sandy and Tygarts Creek Basin (Map and Chart 192) have been published, and the Four Rivers Basin and Salt River Basin are in final editing.

To view and download these publications online, go to the KGS Web page,, click on the “Recent Publications” link, and scroll down to the particular publication. Paper copies of the map are available from the KGS Public Information Center at the Mining and Mineral Resources Building on the UK campus for $10 each plus shipping and may be ordered by calling (859) 257-3896 or toll free at (877) 778-7827. Laminated versions are $5.00 more.