Five organizations.
One mission.


As our city grows, five of the Nashville area’s most influential conservation organizations team up to put water first. 




The Nashville Waterways Consortium is the combined effort of five influential conservation groups to inspire communities, policymakers and civic leaders to act on ensuring clean water and healthy streams for current and future generations of Nashvillians.

Our Mission


  • Raise public awareness of the importance of clean streams and rivers in the Nashville community.

  • Inspire individuals, business owners and policymakers to unite in sharing the responsibility of ensuring clean water for Nashville and to make healthy choices that minimize negative effects on Nashville’s waterways.

  • Foster support for the local organizations working to improve and sustain stream health and ensure clean water for all and for future generations to come.


Cumberland River Compact


Mekayle Houghton, Executive Director

Mekayle Houghton began with the Compact in 2005 as stream restoration manager. During that time, she became attached to the history and the mission of the Compact and took lead of the organization in 2014. Since then, Mekayle has led the Compact in its urban waters program, education throughout the Cumberland River Basin, and working with diverse partners to advance the mission of the organization. Mekayle works closely with the city to help advance urban conservation goals as the city continues to grow. When not at work, Mekayle spends her time with her family, two dogs … and chickens! 

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Harpeth Conservancy


Dorene Bolze, President and CEO

Dorie Bolze has served for over 15 years as the first executive director of the Harpeth Conservancy. In April 2017, Dorie became president and CEO as part of the organization’s expansion efforts.  She has over 30 years of work experience in the field of water quality science and policy, conservation policy and biology related to wildlife conservation, energy efficiency, marine fisheries, protected area management, and international wildlife trade. Local to the Harpeth River, a state scenic river, the Harpeth Conservancy works with landowners, businesses, community, local, state and federal decision-makers, and others to foster solutions that reduce pollution and maintain healthy areas. When Dorie is not at work, she enjoys spending time with her family paddling, fishing and hiking.

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The Nature Conservancy


Terry Cook, State Director

Terry Cook took the helm of The Nature Conservancy’s Tennessee Chapter in early 2016 after serving as the Northeast regional director at The Trustees of Reservations, the oldest land trust in the United States. His new role marks a return to the Conservancy, where he worked for more than 20 years in a variety of capacities. Growing up as a military kid, Terry lived in many parts of the nation and, with each move, gained a greater understanding and appreciation of the country’s precious natural resources. After conducting his own scientific research, Terry chose to use his work to help address critical conservation issues identified by the Conservancy. The core values of the Conservancy and its work keep Terry optimistic about the future. Outside of work, Terry finds a different view of the natural world through his camera lens.

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Tennessee Environmental Council


John McFadden, Chief Executive Officer

John McFadden took the helm as CEO of the Tennessee Environmental Council in 2006. His extensive conservation experience ranges from riparian greenway ecology to aquatic biology, to watershed restoration and management. The Council’s mission is to educate and advocate for the conservation and improvement of Tennessee’s natural environment, communities and public health. You may know of John and his team if you’ve ever volunteered at a tree planting event in Tennessee, as his annual tree plantings are all the buzz across the state, planting 100,000 trees, with 20,000 volunteers in one day! John’s passion for the outdoors and natural resources takes him on many adventures, the most enjoyable being the ones he spends with his son.

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Richland Creek Watershed Alliance


Monette Rebecca, President and Founding Director

Monette Rebecca moved to Nashville in 1989 and to the Richland Creek community in 2005. It didn’t take her long to discover and fall in love with Richland Creek, a historic and beloved urban waterway in West Nashville. Seeing a need for action to better protect the community from urban flood events, and to protect and improve Richland Creek, Monette worked to start the Richland Creek Watershed Alliance in 2007. The organizations works side by side with the community and partners conducting projects, collecting data, and offering a variety of educational and fun activities to support clean and safe water, and healthy aquatic habitats. Her passion for clean water runs deep, and when she’s not advocating for the fish and aquatic life, and clean water, you may be able to find Monette walking the Richland Creek Greenway or around her neighborhood, Sylvan Park.

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