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Water is life!
Clean Water Expected in East Tennessee works for healthy environments-social, environmental and economic in East Tennessee.



All life is interconnected!
We encourage healthy, thriving Appalachian communities by educating ourselves, the public, and our leaders about responsibility for the earth and its people. We do this by advocating for and creating solutions to ensure clean water and environments, flourishing local economies, participation in politics, and positive social and individual growth.


Support, educate, and share CWEET's mission and vision with the greater community. In 2023, CWEET will celebrate the history of Appalachia through story-telling and support education and the community with the AIR collaborative project. 

Pigeon River Stories

The Pigeon River flows from North Carolina into Tennessee just east of the Great Smoky Mountains in the southern Appalachians. Due to over a century of pollution from the paper mill industry in NC (Blue Ridge Paper, formally Champion Paper, in Canton, NC), there has been a continuing struggle to clean the river since the 1980's when the "Dead Pigeon River" council started being active and Tennessee state sued NC over the state of the river from toxic, deadly, poisonous pollution being dumped through the mill's waste processes. CWEET is proud to present this video created over a year by Jacob Judd at Tempsart Productions to share the story of the struggle of citizens and activists in both states who continue to fight for the health and safety of the water, of the people, and of the environment here on the Pigeon River.

CWEET's Story

Clean Water Expected in East Tennessee was started by Brian Overholt, Will Johnson and Seth Smith, who joined together to organize through their experience as river guides. Inspired by the Dead Pigeon River Council, these founders sought to see the rivers of our region live up to their full potential by holding upstream polluters accountable to the standards set forth by the Clean Water Act. Choosing the name Clean Water Expected in East Tennessee based on Newport's famous author, Wilma Dykeman Stokely's quote: "We have the water right here, and we EXPECT it to be cleaned up."

Through the years, CWEET's activities have stayed true to its original mission and have also expanded to range from environmental activism and research to community activities that strengthen and help sustain our local (and global) ecosystem.


CWEET loves a good paddlin’!

We support the whitewater rafting guides and businesses on the Pigeon River at Hartford, TN. CWEET is a proud member of American Whitewater. We value the whitewater community and their support for ecotourism— contributing to a healthy thriving economy and environment.

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Alhough the organization's main focus is restoring and protecting the county's water quality, CWEET has been very supportive and done wonders for the arts and artists in Cocke County.

Business Owner/Artist

CWEET has accepted the vital role in getting clean water to Cocke County and are doing a wonderful job!

Retired Utilities Worker

CWEET works to enhance the environment in our mountain community on many levels. Their intergenerational approach to inclusion gives me hope for our future.

Professor at ETSU

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