It is with a heavy heart that I write to you, but a heart filled with gratitude and purpose. As of October 1, I retired from Auburn University after 29 years of service. After hobbling around for a couple of months this past spring, I was diagnosed with ALS last July, which precipitated my retirement.
Recently, I recalled a coworker suggesting that, along with all of the fine watershed stewardship activities that we do, we should also take time to get out and enjoy the precious waters that flow through our state – that is my next major goal.
I hope that all are having an enjoyable summer, and have time to recreate on and in our world-class waters here in Alabama. Below are a couple of updates relative to bacterial contamination of our surface waters, and our AWW bacteriological data entry that we wanted to bring to your attention:
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!
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!
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 “AWW celebrates 25 years of watching the water”
Last summer, through the creative work of Information Technology Specialist, Jennie Powers (College of Business/College of Agriculture), Alabama Water Watch (AWW) developed an infographic poster depicting Alabama’s world-class aquatic biodiversity. Did you know that Alabama ranks number one among all 50 states in the number of freshwater fish species (332 species, over a quarter of all of the freshwater fish species found in the United States), and number one in the number of crayfish, mussels, freshwater snails and freshwater turtles! We have species that rival the tropical fishes in their rainbow of colors and beauty.
Alabama Water Watch had a busy year in 2016, with several accomplishments and transitions, as we all continue along the path to fulfill our mission of improving both water quality and water policy through citizen monitoring and action. Read all about it in our 2016 annual report: