All About the Yellow, Blackwater, & Choctawhatchee Rivers

There are eight Coastal Plain rivers in Alabama (draining 25% of the state) that are not part of the Mobile Basin. Three of those eight rivers are the Blackwater, Choctawhatchee, and Yellow Rivers.  

The Blackwater River is 58 miles long and originates in Baldwin County near Loxley, AL and discharges into the Perdido River near Lilian, AL.  Only 9 miles of the river are within Alabama.

The Choctawhatchee River is 141 miles long and begins as two separate forks (East Fork and West Fork) near Clayton, AL. The two forks join near Ozark, AL in Dale County to form the Choctawhatchee River which then flows southeast for 48 miles to Geneva, AL before crossing the state line into Florida, ultimately emptying into the Choctawhatchee Bay. 

The Yellow River is 114 miles long and originates in southern Crenshaw County. The river flows south through Coffee and Covington Counties before exiting Alabama near Florala to join the Blackwater River and eventually reaches Blackwater Bay near Pensacola, FL. 

Map Credit: Sydney Zinner
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All About The Tombigbee Basin

The Tombigbee begins in Mississippi, crosses the Alabama state line at Aliceville Lake, joins the Black Warrior River at Demopolis, and eventually joins the Alabama River to form the Mobile River. The Tombigbee flows throughout 15 counties in Mississippi and 15 counties in Alabama, with slightly more than 50% of the river in Alabama.

The main stem of the Tombigbee River is approximately 200 miles long.

Tombigbee Watershed (yellow shading) with the Alabama portion of the river and its tributaries (in blue). Map Credit: Sydney Zinner
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All About the Tennessee River Basin

The Tennessee River begins at the confluence of the Holston and French Broad Rivers near Knoxville, Tennessee. It then bends south out of the Appalachian Mountains, cuts across the northern quarter of Alabama and turns north to join the Ohio River in Kentucky.

The mainstem of the Tennessee is over 650 miles long and 17% of the river is in Alabama. The Tennessee Basin encompasses 40,900 square miles.

Map Credit: Sydney Zinner
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All About the Escatawpa and Perdido River Basins

The Escatawpa River is a 129-mile long river in southwest Alabama and southeast Mississippi that originates in the town of Millry, AL.  It is a tributary of the Pascagoula River that ultimately drains into the Gulf of Mexico at Pascagoula Bay. The Escatawpa flows through two counties in Alabama: Washington and Mobile. Escatawpa means “where cane is cut” in the Choctaw language. Cane refers to the Southeast’s native bamboo, Arundinaria spp. also known as rivercane.

The Perdido River is a 65-mile long river in southwest Alabama and northwest Florida. The Perdido forms the western boundary between Alabama and Florida for almost its entire length, ultimately draining into the Perdido Bay of the Gulf of Mexico. Its headwaters begin in Escambia County, AL northwest of the town of Atmore, flows into Baldwin County, AL, and shares the state line with Escambia County, FL. Perdido means “lost” in Spanish and was named by Spanish settlers who occupied the area until 1813.

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