KINGSPORT, Tenn., April 20, 2012 The results of a 2010 study of the South Fork Holston River are in and they are good. Work by the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University confirms that the biological health of the river has continued to improve over the past four decades. The rivers ecosystem is diverse and vibrant.
Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE: EMN) voluntarily sponsored the seventh environmental study in 45 years. The purpose is to assess the overall health of the Holston River by documenting the water quality upstream and downstream of Kingsport, and to compare the results with previous findings.
Fish occupy the highest level in the aquatic food chain and are often used as key indicators of the health of the aquatic ecosystem, said Keith Harris, Environmental Affairs at Eastman. At Riverfront Park, in 1965, Academy scientists counted 3 different species of fish. Last year, they found 30. Such an improvement results from the combined efforts of local industry and the City of Kingsport.
The Academy, founded in 1812, is a world-renowned, nonprofit institution dedicated to increasing knowledge of the natural world through environmental research and natural history education.
Dr. Richard Horwitz, Project Leader and Academy Fisheries Section Leader, has participated in the Eastman river studies since 1990. Our study focused on the biological health of the river, Horwitz said. We looked at algae and aquatic plants, aquatic invertebrates and fish, and compared current conditions with those of earlier studies. By studying these groups, we can learn a lot about trends in water quality.
Part of Eastmans public commitment to protecting health, safety and the environment is self-monitoring. The river is a valuable resource for the City of Kingsport and for Eastman. We have a responsibility to protect the river a responsibility we take seriously and I think were doing a good job. The Academys findings verify that our protection efforts are working, added Keith.
About the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel