Tennessee State Parks to host virtual bike ride across the state

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Photo: Night scene with starry sky and meteorite trail over forest. Long exposure shoot by Eshma

Tennessee State Parks to host virtual bike ride across the state

Tennessee’s annual Bicycle Ride Across Tennessee (BRAT) is going virtual this year. During the virtual month-long event, which takes place September 1- 30, riders can log their miles on lovetoride.net as part of the Bicycle Ride Across Tennessee Cycling Club. The goal is for participants to ride 688 miles, the distance from Bristol to Memphis, in the month of September. Because this year is the 31st annual BRAT, the club has a goal of 31,000 miles collectively.

“This is a great event for cyclists across our state, and the virtual format will allow everyone to participate while still practicing social distancing,” Jim Bryson, deputy commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, said in a news release. “It’s a way to maintain personal goals but still follow safety guidelines in light of COVID-19.”

Biologists introduce freshwater mussel into Catawba River after an absence of 100+ years

The brook floater, a state-endangered freshwater mussel, was recently reintroduced into waters it hasn’t inhabited in more than 100 years, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission said in a news release. In July, agency biologists stocked approximately 350 brook floaters downstream of Lake James in the Catawba River. The last time a brook floater was documented in this stretch of river was 1919, shortly before the impoundment of Lake James.

Mussel species have a high extinction rate, especially in the last few decades. In North Carolina alone, there are 48 species of mussel, 30 of which are listed as endangered, threatened or special concern. “Mussels are important because they help keep our waters clean,” said T.R. Russ, the lead Commission biologist.

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