AU’s Coast Guard Auxiliary begins Watching Auburn’s Water

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Last fall, Alabama Water Watch (AWW) was contacted by Flotilla Commander Jake Shaw, Director of the Coast Guard Auxiliary (CGA) at Auburn University. Commander Shaw, and the AU CGA cadets were interested in AWW and how water monitoring might mesh with their mission to be involved in environmental stewardship. After an introductory presentation on AWW, they felt that becoming AWW-certified in water monitoring would be a great fit!

AU CGA cadets Tyler Daily, Veronica Albrecht, Suzanna Pickering and Christopher Paul, certified in AWW water monitoring and eager to test some water!

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AWW 25th Anniversary Celebration Highlights

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Who could have imagined back in the early days of AWW how far-reaching the program’s impacts would be 25 years later. Read about some of AWW’s impressive achievements in Eric’s recent AWWareness Article:  AWW Celebrates 25 Years of Watching the Water.

Over the weekend of May 20th, volunteers, supporters, and friends of AWW joined together at the Living River Retreat on the Cahaba near Montevallo to celebrate the achievements and importance of AWW over the last 25 years. Here are a few highlights from the celebration.

The day began with a welcome that included recognition of the AWW Association board members, volunteer trainers, and monitors by AWW Director, Eric Reutebuch. Each of the twelve trainers present received a poster of the America’s Amazon Infographic in recognition of his or her valuable contributions to AWW.

AWW Trainer, Michael Freeman, receives his poster.

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Canoeing and Celebrating on the Cahaba

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On May 19th, to kick off a fun-filled weekend of celebrating 25 years of “Loving Our Downstream Neighbor”, several AWW monitors and staff floated a short stretch of the Cahaba River on the Living River Retreat property. Along the way we found snakes, turtles, and mussels, laughs were shared, and near the end, the group had the pleasure of seeing a small stand of the famous Cahaba Lilies.

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AWW celebrates 25 years of watching the water

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Back in 1992, Bill Deutsch was fresh out of graduate school at AU, and ready to go out and change the world – for the better, of course. Little did he know that 25 years later, AWW would have trained 7,400 citizen monitors who have monitored 2,400 sites on the streams, rivers, lakes, bays and bayous throughout the state, and submitted over 86,000 water quality records to the AWW online database!

AWW founder, Bill Deutsch, showing off the AWW logo – and no, it is not a shrimp!

More important, that these volunteer monitors would have accomplished a litany of achievements in improving water quality and water policy through the use of their data and acquired knowledge in a myriad of watershed stewardship endeavors. The list includes positive impacts ranging from cyphering out fecal contamination in local neighborhood streams to impacting state water policy! Here are some examples: Continue reading