Greetings, River Neighbors: Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer, but it’s still hot outside across the TVA service region, so there’s still plenty of time to get outside and enjoy your public lands. We’ve seen some heavy rain recently in parts of the Tennessee Valley, leftovers from tropical storm systems. Our River Forecast Center saw it coming and has been efficiently managing the river system to handle the excess water.
We’ve also seen something of a deluge in our permitting offices this year—a flood of new shoreline construction requests. Under federal law, anyone wanting to build a dock or other shoreline structure must apply for a Section 26a permit before construction can begin. We move as quickly as we can to process those permits, but there are plenty of boxes that need to be checked as we go along. We’re starting a series of stories that give you a glimpse into the world of our watershed representatives as they go about the business of working this process. Here’s part one.
This is a beautiful time of year to plan a camping trip or a road trip. If you need a relaxing getaway closer to home, think about spending some quiet time on a TVA trail or sitting by a shore. This has been a tough year for us all, and medical experts agree that spending time in nature goes a long way toward relieving stress.
Saturday, Sept. 25 is National Public Lands Day, and we’re planning a few special things to mark the day. Normally we’d invite everyone out to join us in person for cleanups and educational events, but with the uncertainty of COVID-related closures, it’s going to be difficult to do that on a large scale this year. But we’ll keep our volunteer page updated with cleanups and other opportunities for you to get outside and help us care for the Valley.
As always, please observe safety practices when you visit us. Have a good September!
VP, TVA River & Resources Stewardship
Getting a dock permit—why can’t it happen faster?
When friends or family ask Emily Collins what she does for a living, the TVA watershed representative keeps it simple. “Rocks and docks,” is her initial reply. But it’s a bit more involved than that. Any construction activity along or in the Tennessee River or its tributaries requires a Section 26a permit, often called a shoreline permit. Take a peek inside the day of one of TVA’s watershed reps to learn what might be involved with your application.
Stressed out? Take a calming walk with us
After COVID-19 brought restrictions to the U.S., it became clear that TVA’s miles of shoreline and public lands provide more benefits than just economic. Take a stroll and leave your stress behind.
We’ve completed a series of water trail maps highlighting great paddle trips around the Valley. No matter what your region, you’ll find everything you need to know right here.
Plan a new paddling adventure
Ahhhhhhh… autumn is coming to the Valley
Crunching leaves, dancing campfires, and colorful, crisp days – welcome to fall in the Tennessee Valley, where seven states invite you to photograph the reflection of the autumn forest in the lake or experience an orchard at harvest time. Find out where to enjoy all of this and more on Explore TRV, the map guide of the Tennessee River Valley.
Explore North Alabama by water – Sept. 18
A first-rate opportunity to explore North Alabama by water is coming up September 18th when four,Tennessee RiverTowns Program communities host community paddle events. “Through access to six, Tennessee RiverLine kayak fleets, our Tennessee RiverTowns Program communities have a resource to connect individuals who may otherwise be underserved by outdoor recreation opportunities, provide free access to gear and open the door for more people engaging with the Tennessee River,” says Lizzy Gardner, Program Manager, Tennessee RiverLine Partnership. Check it out here.
The valley’s paddling season stretches into October, so there’s still time to get on the water. No kayak? No worries, they have extras. Find upcoming events at Tennessee RiverLine events calendar.
Tennessee Valley Clean Marinas – committed to the environment
Some lake lovers begin storing their boats at the first sign of chilly weather, but autumn is a gorgeous time on the water. Most marinas in the valley are open and dedicated to serving boaters throughout the fall and winter months. Tennessee Valley Clean Marina owners and their staffs are equally serious about their obligation to the environment. TVA Natural Resources is committed to promoting environmentally responsible marinas that are using best management practices and ensuring that best boating practices are being used by their customers.
The Early Bird gets the campsite
Toward the end of September in the valley, leaves begin to drift to the ground as the humidity begins to inch downward along with the temperature. Seasoned campers know that this is their cue to make reservations for 2022 camping jaunts. TVA Natural Resources encourges you to peruse the list of eco-friendly campgrounds that are proud to have become certified Tennessee Valley Camp-Right Campgrounds.
Get the most up-to-date information on each reservoir TVA manages, including today’s levels, predicted elevations, planned generation releases at the dams, reservoir operating guides, ecological health ratings, fish population survey results, recreation facilities and more.
Did you know you can check our lake levels with an app?
It’s still warm enough to swim! These swimmers enjoyed the day at Big Ridge State Park in July, 1944.
The Wayback Machine
Explore with the Tennessee River Valley MapGuide
Looking for new places to explore by foot, car or boat? Check out the Tennessee River Valley MapGuide. There are plenty of things to see and do close to home.
Got a question? Pick the PLIC
TVA’s Public Land Information Center (PLIC) is your single source for answers to questions about a variety of public land topics including recreational opportunities and shoreline permits. Call (800) 882-5263 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET or submit your question using the form found here.
Keep up with road closings, bridge repairs, all kinds of things here:
See past issues of River Neighbors here.