Happy World Water Day! 10 must-know Waterkeepers preserving Alabama waterways

Waterkeeper Alliance
Little River. (Summer Guffey / The Bama Buzz)

Did you know that today, March 22nd, is World Water Day? In honor of this holiday, we’re recognizing ten Alabama Waterkeepers dedicated to keeping our state’s waterways clean and healthy. Keep reading to learn more about them. 

Waterkeepers Alabama

Before the Clean Water Act was signed into law in 1972, many of the country’s rivers, streams and other waterways were severely contaminated with sewage, trash, oil and other toxic industrial pollutants. Now, due to the hard work of Waterkeeper organizations and hundreds of volunteers, the health of our water systems is in better shape. 

Check out the organizations across Alabama that have helped make that happen.

1. Black Warrior Riverkeeper

Boat At Dawn
Moundville Boat Launch at Dawn. (Nelson Brooke/Black Warrior Riverkeeper)

Black Warrior Riverkeeper is part of the Waterkeepers Alabama that protects the Black Warrior River. This waterway drains into 17 different counties in central-west Alabama and is home to 4 endangered fish species. Keeping these fish alive is an important reason to sustain the cleanliness of this river.

FUN FACT: This river is a major source of drinking water for many cities including Birmingham, Bessemer, Cullman, Jasper, Oneonta and Tuscaloosa.

2. Cahaba Riverkeeper

Cahaba Nwr
Wadsworth tract at the Cahaba NWR. (Jim Wadsworth)

Sedimentation, or the act of sediment settling in a body of water, can adversely affect the water quality. Cahaba Riverkeeper advocates for the enforcement of Alabama Department of Environmental Management laws to keep the waters clean.

3. Chattahoochee Riverkeeper

Clean Up
Workin’! (Chattahoochee Riverkeeper)

Watching over the water since 1994, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper protects the ecosystem in the southern half of Alabama by monitoring the sewer system and bacteria. This all benefits the overall health of the river.

Did you know that they had over 2,000 volunteers help remove trash from the waters just last year?

4. Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper

Near Clayton and Barbour County, the Choctawhatchee River is one of the longest free-flowing rivers remaining in Alabama. Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper responds to your complaints and patrols the water to assess water quality trends.

5. Coosa Riverkeeper

Noccalula
Above Noccalula Falls. (Summer Guffey / Bham Now)

Growing up on the Coosa, I remember when Coosa Riverkeeper was first established back in 2010. They help answer the public’s questions like, “is it safe to swim?” and, “how can I make the waterway healthier?”

6. Coosa River Basin Initiative

Since 1993, Coosa River Basin Initiative’s staff, board and volunteers have advocated for the protection of the natural resources of the Upper Coosa River basin, which stretches from Weiss Dam in Northeast Alabama to Wetumpka.

7. Hurricane Creekkeeper

Flowing between Vance and Tuscaloosa, you’ll find Hurricane Creek. As an active member of the international Waterkeeper, John Wathen protects this watershed by collecting evidence and information about the water quality.

Because of this Waterkeeper, this creek has been cleaner than it’s been in recent decades. Keep up the water-ful work!

8. Little River Waterkeeper

Little River spans the Dekalb and Cherokee County borders along Lookout Mountain and is home to many rare flora and fauna. It’s important to keep this ecosystem alive and wild. Follow their tag #KeepLittleRiverWild.

Little River Waterkeeper program monitors the health of Little River year-round by educating people about water pollution, conservation and responsible water recreation.

9. Mobile Baykeeper

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The water basin. (Mobile Baykeepers)

Did you know that Mobile Bay’s river basin covers two-thirds of Alabama? That’s roughly 45,000 square miles!

Mobile Baykeeper protects over 250 rivers, bays, bayous and creeks by solving pollution problems so that the “North America’s Amazon” can stay biologically diverse.

10. Tennesse Riverkeeper

Crew
A BIG thank you to this clean-up crew. (Tennesse Riverkeeper)

Tennesse Riverkeeper dedicates their mission to preserve the Tennessee River and Cumberland River Basins. Their website is full of helpful information on how microplastics get in our water and fish consumption advisories.

FUN FACT: North Alabama’s famous Tennesse River provides hydropower to some of Alabama’s biggest cities, including Huntsville and Florence.

More

Although the Waterkeepers Alabama is a crucial aide in keeping our water clean, there are plenty of other organizations that do the same. Check out some that work hard in keeping our ecosystems healthy:

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Summer Guffey

Lover of Weiss Lake in the summertime and camping at Cheaha in the autumn.

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