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.
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.
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.
Alabama Water Watch works to protect Alabama’s precious water resources by training citizens to collect credible water quality data from rivers, lakes, and other local waterbodies. Educating people about Alabama’s waters and helping them to find a meaningful connection to their watershed is an important part of what we do.
Lucky for us, Alabama has so much to offer in the way of water resources, it is easy to foster these connections. With 132,000 miles of streams and rivers, Alabama can call itself “the River State”. Moreover, each river has a unique set of flora and fauna, geology, culture and history that can provide you with a lifetime’s worth of learning.
How much do you know about your own river basin? Check out AWW’s Twelve Months of Alabama Rivers campaign to test your knowledge and learn more. During each month of 2021, we will be publishing blog articles and social media posts that highlight the unique and interesting characteristics of each of the state’s major river basins.