Many people in Bibb County are familiar with the Cahaba Riverkeeper organization. Most likely do not know, however, that there are 11 independent riverkeeper organizations in Alabama helping to protect and serve its vast waterways.
“Alabama has over 77,000 miles of rivers and streams with more freshwater biodiversity than any other US state. Alabama’s rivers are among the most biologically diverse waterways in the world. 38% of North America’s fish species, 43% of its freshwater gill-breathing snails, 51% of its freshwater turtle species, and 60% of its freshwater mussel species are native to Alabama’s rivers.” — wikipedia
“Alabama is world-renowned for its amazing biodiversity, so it is fitting that our water resources be defended by a diverse group of unique and independent Waterkeepers.” — David Butler, Cahaba Riverkeeper
Newly launched is an organization of the independent riverkeeper groups, Waterkeepers Alabama.
“We started working together about a year and half ago,” said David Butler. Butler is the Vice President of Waterkeepers Alabama, and the staff Riverkeeper at Cahaba Riverkeeper. “This is just a more formal partnership. The various groups operate independently and don’t always agree, but we have common issues and can push for solutions to those better together.”
The union of riverkeeper organizations seemed to happen organically over time. “I don’t know if any one group spearheaded it. It was more a collective realization. There is a monthly call with all of the groups, and over time it just sort of happened,” Butler said.
According to Butler, the largest advantage will be the shared vision and united voice to make things happen for the better within Alabama’s waterways. “There is an opportunity for tremendous benefit for all the citizens of Alabama,” he added.
The new website gives people the tools and info of who to reach out to when reporting a problem or concern along whatever waterway in Alabama – something they may not have known or been able to find before.
To report a problem on the Cahaba, you can contact David Butler through the Cahaba Riverkeeper Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/cahabariverkeeper/
Or through the Cahaba Riverkeeper website here: https://cahabariverkeeper.org/