Urban Watershed Plan

Woman speaking at podium
July 14, 2022

The future for Middle Fork Beargrass Creek looks a bit brighter with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approval of a watershed plan to improve water quality in Middle Fork Beargrass Creek and create opportunities for community members to become involved in improvement efforts and solutions.

This EPA-approved plan, a first for Louisville, brings together MSD and Kentucky Division of Water (DOW) staff with citizen groups, residents, business owners, and other stakeholders working to improve water quality within the urban stream by addressing nonpoint source pollution. When rainfall or snowmelt moves over, and through the ground, it picks up and carries natural and human-made pollutants, finally depositing them into waterways. While Middle Fork Beargrass Creek currently meets standards for metals, most nutrients and some toxins. There is still work to do so that the waterway can meet all criteria for healthy waterways.

Plan approval opens the door to 319(h) Nonpoint Source Management Program grant funding. MSD will use the first approved dollars for support staff to lead community education and outreach efforts, such as stream cleanups, to improve the water quality in Middle Fork Beargrass Creek, which winds through a wide swath of Jefferson County. The urban watershed contains everything from homes, businesses, schools, malls, and busy thoroughfares to parks, nature trails, and a historic farm. Additionally, because the EPA approved the plan, MSD or any of its partners may apply for more 319 grant funding.