In 2007, the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture was awarded a United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) 319(h) grant to develop a watershed-based plan, develop pathogen and nutrient total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), and begin implementing these documents to reduce, remediate, and prevent the effects of nonpoint source pollution in the watershed. The watershed-based plan was approved in 2012, and a second grant was awarded to continue implementing the plan. Because the Royal Spring is the primary drinking water supply for the city of Georgetown, improving water quality in this watershed not only improves environmental quality, but improves human health and safety within the region.
The primary goal of the Cane Run and Royal Spring Watershed-Based Plan (WBP) is to reduce the effects of nonpoint sources of pollution in the watershed to allow the watershed to meet or exceed state water quality standards. The WBP describes best management practices (BMPs) that can be targeted to individual reaches along the Cane Run and its tributaries. The mix of agricultural, suburban, and urban landscapes in the watershed requires a broad range of BMPs. The efforts of this project are focused on the upper Cane Run watershed (15,000 acres), which is the recharge zone for the Royal Spring Aquifer. This target area extends from the northern sections of Lexington, KY to the Kentucky Horse Park
The secondary goal of the project is to make the restoration effort as visible as possible to not only the residents of the watershed, but across the state and nation, and the WBP details education and outreach opportunities for a variety of audiences, including watershed residents, community members, students, and visitors to the watershed. The location of the watershed within the Bluegrass Region of the state and along the I-75 and I-64 corridors makes the watershed highly visible for educational opportunities. The FEI World Equestrian Games and the creation of the Legacy Trail in 2010 brought new visitors to the watershed and created ongoing opportunities to education the community and the world the watershed.
Click here to read the full version of the Watershed-Based Plan.