This project will place rip rap on the critical areas of the Heron Island shoreline in a way that reduces or eliminates severe soil erosion so that the flora supporting the heron rookery are protected and the natural environment is enhanced.
Heron Island is approximately 5 acres in area and is located at Little TN River Mile 11.0. Historically, this island has supported around 30 nesting pairs of the Great Blue Heron. Going back to at least 2005, WATeR personnel on the Water Quality Improvement Committee received numerous requests from Tellico Village residents to do “something” to help protect Heron Island’s eroding shoreline.
After ongoing discussion with TVA, WATeR initiated this project in 2008. In 2009, all necessary permitting approvals were obtained from: the Army Corps of Engineers, TVA, and TDEC. A preliminary cost estimate to stabilize the shoreline with rip rap was $60,000, provided by TN Shoreline Inc.( a preferred TVA contractor ).
Cost considerations dictated a phased approach to project implementation. Fundraising for Phase I occurred throughout 2010, and $15,000 was spent on stabilizing almost 400 feet of shoreline in January of 2011. During the remainder of 2011, Additional funds were raised to complete the project. Phase II was implemented in January of 2012 by stabilizing just under an additional 400 feet of shoreline, at a cost of $23,000. The restored island is clearly visible to boaters from the main channel at Little TN River Mile 11.0, and to anyone entering Tellico Lake from the Clear Creek boat ramp.
Strong grassroots support for this project was evident from start to finish. Donations for Heron Prints ( limited edition of 300 ) and Note Cards ( Joe Trout, artist ) accounted for approximately 50% of the financing. The remaining funds came from: supporting individuals, community groups, and businesses. In total, over $40,000 was raised for this project.
The final piece to this project will be a sign telling the Heron Island story, and completion is scheduled for early 2013.