September 14, 2007

The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture and the state Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet (EPPC) have established a partnership to reduce and prevent nonpoint source pollution in the Cane Run watershed in central Kentucky. The project is affiliated with UK’s Tracy Farmer Center for the Environment.

EPPC is administering two grants totaling $1.8 million to fund the project. The initiative was announced today at the Kentucky Horse Park.

“This represents a collaborative effort involving a strong and broad-based team, and our college is proud to have the opportunity to use our research farm at Maine Chance for the important purpose of research and education on water quality and its impact,” said Scott Smith, dean of the College of Agriculture.

"Cleaning up streams and protecting our natural resources are vitally important to Kentucky and its citizens, and this project represents the kind of stewardship necessary for the long-term interests of this great commonwealth," said Tracy Farmer, horseman, entrepreneur and founding benefactor of UK's Tracy Farmer Center for the Environment.

Teresa J. Hill, secretary of EPPC, said the cabinet is pleased to join UK in cleaning up the watershed.

“The Fletcher administration is committed to safeguarding the environment not only for today’s citizens, but for generations to come,” Hill said. “We commend UK for showing its leadership in partnering with us in this important endeavor.”

Three UK water quality researchers, Steve Workman, Steve Higgins, and Amanda Gumbert, will carry out the project. 

The two U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grants for $1,110,940 and $757,238 are administered by EPPC’s Division of Water. The Cane Run watershed is one of five priority watersheds selected by the Kentucky Watershed Steering Committee for focused restoration and protection efforts. Segments of the Cane Run watershed have high levels of sedimentation/siltation, pathogens and nutrient/organic enrichment, which have resulted in the stream being placed on the state list of impaired streams. 

The Cane Run watershed is approximately 29,000 acres. College of Agriculture scientists will focus their efforts during the first phases of the project on the 15,000 acres in the upper portion, which recharges the Royal Spring in Georgetown.


Laura Skillman, 270-625-2203, Mark York, 502-564-5525