Kayakers and canoers invaded McKellar Lake on Friday, not for fun but to draw attention to what they call a dangerous problem.
Activists with the Sierra Club lifted up bright yellow banners in demonstration against the Tennessee Valley Authority and its coal fired power plant. The protesters claim the plant dumps wastewater into the lake.
Sierra Club members say they want stricter government standards to protect people and that waterway,which feeds into the lower Mississippi River.
"Increasing these standards will force the coal industry to make investments," said Scott Banbury. "Make sure that the water they're discharging is clean and not posing any risk to people and to wildlife, and we hope the EPA will move forward with that."
Banbury added the current regulatory guidelines for toxic discharge from coal plants have not been updated for more than 30 years.