Cahaba River Society serves not only the population of the Cahaba watershed but all people living and working in the Birmingham metropolitan area. The Cahaba is the main drinking water source for the Birmingham Water Works Board, which serves about one-fifth of Alabama’s people. This “peopleshed” of residents and businesses who depend on and value the Cahaba River encompasses over a million people. In addition, we work with many statewide partners to strengthen water resource protection policies at the state level benefiting all the people of Alabama. While the bulk of our members live in the watershed or “peopleshed,” we also have the support of many members throughout the state and across the nation who value the Cahaba River and believe in our work.
Our work also serves the diverse freshwater creatures who depend on the Cahaba. The Cahaba has more species of fish per mile than any other river in North America and is considered to be nationally and globally significant for freshwater biodiversity by conservation groups such as The Nature Conservancy and The World Wildlife Fund.
The Cahaba River Society is recognized nationally for river stewardship and as a leader promoting climate-resilient solutions for growing southeastern communities. In addition to our Water-Smart Growth program and CLEAN education program, we work to improve local, state and federal water quality protections, restore freshwater habitat, promote recreation, greenways and economic growth from tourism, and encourage stewardship of creation with interfaith partners. We are committed to the values of education to build knowledge and commitment to act, collaboration, which is essential to achieve real and lasting stewardship of the Cahaba, and, most importantly, integrity to build the trust and relationships that yield collaboration.
We employ a full range of strategies: education, collaboration, policy advocacy, and, when absolutely necessary, legal action (used only 3 times in our 30 year history).
Some major accomplishments include: