Biodiversity

We live, work and play in a special place. The TVA service area is home to a vast array of plant and animal species, some of which occur nowhere else in the world.

Biodiversity provides essential benefits and services to people, including a stable food supply, clean water, new medicines and recreational opportunities.

Protecting plant and animal species for future generations is integral to continued sustainable development of the Tennessee Valley.

TVA's holistic approach to integrated resource management, combined with our large service area, positions TVA as a regional leader in biodiversity conservation.

Watch this video to learn how our Biodiversity Policy is helping to drive conservation efforts both in natural areas and operational areas like dam reservations, generation sites and transmission line easements.

View the TVA Biodiversity Policy.

Gray treefrog

Biodiversity News

Hatchery’s Hail Mary Makes Homecoming Possible

Armed with snorkels and Super Glue, TVA and other members of a fish conservation partnership ventured into the Nantahala National Forest to help re-establish rare mollusks there.

Threatened No Longer

The tiny snail darter, which was declared endangered in 1975, makes a big comeback thanks to a decades-long lift from federal biologists.

Into Elfin Territory

A father-son duo's discovery of frosted elfins, an endangered butterfly species, in a TVA right of way area is helping lead the way to grassland conservation efforts.

Fighting Invasive Forces

TVA, and its partner organizations, are in an ongoing battle with invasive aquatic species such as eelgrass in order to protect native species and maintain biodiversity in local waterways.

Mantle Lures: A Freshwater Mussel’s Secret Weapon

Mussels have been using a secret weapon to "fish" for 400 million years. Annual surveys of these natural water filters, known as the sentinels of rivers, help ensure our tap water is safe to drink.

Pollinators

butterfly on a flower in a transmission right of way

Pollinators like bees and butterflies are critical to the health of our ecosystems and essential to producing many of the foods we love. Pollinators are responsible for as much as one third of food we consume! Unfortunately, populations of pollinating insects are declining and some formerly common species are now at risk of extinction. There are many reasons for pollinator decline, but habitat loss is one important factor.

TVA is playing a key role in slowing or even reversing this decline by encouraging native wildflowers and grasses on transmission line rights of way and other lands.

How TVA supports pollinators

Video Gallery

Snail Darter
A once endangered species makes a mighty comeback

Freshwater Mussels
See endangered mussels "fish" with their own lure

Wooded Ecosystems
A long history of protecting and improving forests

Osprey
Helping birds of prey coexist with electrical equipment

Creature Feature
NatGeo captures river rarities for its Photo Ark

Pollinators
How power companies help conserve pollinator habitats

Projects in Pictures

Click on an image to walk through a visual summary of the project.

Ruth's Golden Aster

The only place in the world this endangered plant exists is below the TVA dams on the Hiwassee and Ocoee Rivers. See how TVA is working with academic and agency partners to protect it.

Spotlights

People Spotlight

Adam Dattilo

Adam Dattilo
As TVA's botanist and biodiversity program manager, Adam is a champion for threatened and endangered plant species in the Valley. He has also pioneered efforts to grow pollinators in TVA’s power line corridors. “Given the extent of our operations and the amount of land we manage, we’re in a position to play a leadership role in conserving resources that might otherwise die out.” Learn more about Adam.

Species Spotlight

Osprey
If you spend time on the water, you may have seen one of these powerful birds of prey. Since osprey like to build nests on power poles, TVA and its partners are helping the birds better coexist with electrical equipment. Find out how we research their behavior, provide alternative roosting sites and even relocate nests. Here's where you can spot osprey.

Partner Spotlight

Conservation Fisheries, Inc.

Conservation Fisheries, Inc.
In rows of aquariums on the edge of Knoxville, this non-profit hatchery works to conserve some of the most imperiled fishes in the southeast. Over the last few decades, CFI has propagated more than 75 non-game fish. TVA partners with CFI to help restore fish populations, and donated a backup generator to ensure that the fish survive even if the power goes out.