Alabama Water Watch Celebrates 25 Years

Alabama Water Watch monitors rivers.
Alabama Water Watch monitors rivers.

Alabama Water Watch is still on the job of protecting the state's water sources 25 years after its creation.

A story on the Auburn University website, by Ravali Bheemanathini, says the program monitors more than 132,000 miles of rivers and streams as well as more than 300 species of freshwater fish, along with more abundant crayfish, snails, turtles and mussels than any other state.

According to the report, the mission of Alabama Water Watch, established in 1992 supported in part by federal grant dollars awarded through the Alabama Department of Environmental Management is to improve both water quality and water policy through citizen monitoring and action.

Water watch has worked with more than 300 community groups in Alabama, training 7,400 volunteer citizen monitors who have monitored 2,300 sites on streams, rivers, lakes, bays and bayous. More than 86,000 water quality records have been submitted to the Water Watch online database.

The program has helped in the conservation of some of the rarest creatures on the planet. The only known existence of the endangered watercress darter, for example, is in Five Springs near Birmingham, and those bodies of water constantly being monitored.

For more on this program, visit www.auburn.edu.

Larry Gierer: 706-571-8581, lgierer@ledger-enquirer.com.