The Clinch and Powell Rivers harbor nearly 40 different species of freshwater mussels, making the area one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world. Our organization grew out of a two-state effort to protect the Clinch and Powell Rivers that resulted in our designation as a Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) area. This program, administered by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, established local councils to help the community protect and develop their economic, natural, and social resources in ways that improve their areas' economy, environment, and quality of life. In 1989 the Council was chartered as a Nonprofit Corporation in Tennessee and in 1990 received 501c3 IRS Tax Exempt Status.

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