Community cleanups at reservoirs and recreation areas, a student-led solar project in Chattanooga and a new initiative to help people protect their waterfront property are among the Tennessee Valley Authority activities and observances for Earth Day 2012.
“Tying together everything TVA is doing to celebrate Earth Day this year is the concept of shared stewardship,” said Bruce Schofield, vice president of TVA Land & Shoreline Management.
“With more than 293,000 acres and 11,000 miles of shoreline entrusted to TVA, we need partners to help protect and enhance public lands across the Tennessee Valley. The actions people take, individually and collectively, can contribute to a better and cleaner environment.”
TVA is introducing its new Waterfront Yards initiative at Earth Day events across the region. The program encourages lakefront property owners to use of riparian buffers ? strips of plants, shrubs and trees left to grow along the shoreline. These plants help stabilize the shoreline, reduce sediments and contaminants getting into the water and provide shade to cool the water’s edge. Benefits to the landowners include protecting water quality and performing less maintenance on their property.
On Monday, Chattanooga’s Howard School of Academics and Technology and TVA will dedicate a student-led solar installation at the school that TVA helped develop. TVA also is joining other regional organizations for environmental education sessions on Friday with students at Sullivan Elementary School in Kingsport, and with regional Girl Scout Troops on Sunday at the Gray Fossil Museum in Washington County.
Earlier this month, TVA staff organized trail maintenance and information sessions near rock-climbing areas at Foster Falls Campground in Marion County, and led shoreline cleanup and maintenance at Douglas Lake with area high school student volunteers.
Officials said, "TVA has a renewed vision to be one of the nation’s leading providers of low-cost and cleaner energy by 2020. To achieve that vision, TVA is increasing renewable power and clean energy in its generation mix. This will help reduce or avoid emissions and improve regional air quality.
"In 2011, more than 40 percent of TVA’s energy came from clean or carbon-free sources – nuclear, hydro and renewable power. As of March 2012, TVA's operating renewable power capacity is about 5,600 megawatts, including hydroelectric power, wind contracts, TVA's Generation Partners and Renewable Standard Offer initiatives, and other TVA-owned wind, solar, landfill methane and biomass generation. TVA’s maximum nuclear power capacity is more than 6,600 megawatts."