More than 120 miles of river habitat for an endangered fish are now under federal protection in Kentucky and West Virginia.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the protection of the diamond darter's habitat. The "critical habitat" designation includes 95 miles of the Green River in Edmonson, Green and Hart counties in Kentucky. It requires federal agencies to ensure that federally funded or permitted activities will not harm the darter or their habitat.
The diamond darter was protected under the Endangered Species Act last month. The tiny fish was considered extinct until scientists rediscovered it in West Virginia in 1980. Fewer than 125 of them have been seen over the past 30 years.
The state Nature Preserves Commission has given three WKU professors its annual award for work that protects biological diversity.
Alfred Meier, Ouida Meier and Scott Grubbs were given this year's Biological Diversity Protection Award for their work creating the Upper Green River Biological Preserve. The preserve is on the banks of the Green River in Hart County.
The Green River is the most important river in Kentucky for the conservation of rare native mussels and fish. It hosts 109 fish species and nearly 60 mussel species. The area is also important for an endangered bat species found on the preserve and as a breeding and migratory habitat for songbirds.
Volunteers from across the Commonwealth will gather in Greensburg Saturday to help with the annual "Clean the Green" project. They'll be picking up trash that has accumulated along a twenty mile stretch of the river.