Across the Tennessee River Basin is a collaboration within the Appalachian LCC bringing together multiple agencies and stakeholders in a joint effort to plan and deliver landscape conservation actions to protect one of the most diverse areas for aquatic species in North America.
The mainstem Tennessee River winds its way for roughly 650 miles through Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, back into Tennessee, and finally into Kentucky, where it empties into the Ohio River. Streams from these states, but also North Carolina and Georgia, feed the river along its course. Indeed, the entire basin encompasses over 40,000 square miles. Five major physiographic provinces are represented within the basin: the Blue Ridge, the Valley and Ridge, the Appalachian Plateau, the Interior Low Plateaus and the Coastal Plain. The extent of the river basin’s reach and the breadth of changes in the geography and geology help to explain why the area harbors one of the most diverse freshwater ecosystems in the world. This extraordinary diversity is one of the primary factors that led the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to designate the Southern Appalachians as a Man and the Biosphere Reserve in 1988. Furthermore, The Nature Conservancy identifies the region as one of the most significant biodiversity hotspots in the United States.
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