Tricia Sheets: A Legacy of Dedication and Impact at Cahaba River Society - Cahaba River Society
Tricia Sheets retired as Director of Administration in August 2023, marking the end of her remarkable 32-year career with the nonprofit organization. Tricia’s retirement leaves an indelible legacy, characterized by unwavering dedication and a profound impact on the organization’s mission.
A recipient of the Cahaba River Society Lifetime Achievement Award more than a decade before her retirement, Tricia has been a pivotal figure since the early days of CRS. As the organization’s longest-serving staff member, she played a crucial role in leading administrative, financial, and HR functions, steering CRS to fiscal strength while fostering a supportive environment for its staff.
Beyond her administrative responsibilities, Tricia distinguished herself as an effective policy advocate and researcher, contributing significantly to key victories for the Cahaba River. Notably, she spearheaded efforts to address rampant sewer overflows in the 1990s, culminating in a successful lawsuit that compelled Jefferson County to upgrade its leaky sewer system, thereby enhancing water quality in the Black Warrior streams and the Cahaba River.
Tricia’s vigilance became evident in the mid-2000s when she raised concerns about the County’s SuperSewer project, a potentially destructive initiative threatening the Cahaba River. Through meticulous research, community organizing, and advocacy, Tricia played a pivotal role in defeating the project, saving tens of millions of dollars for ratepayers and safeguarding the integrity of the riverbed and drinking water supply.
For over 30 years, Tricia served as a guardian of the Birmingham Water Works Board lands, connecting communities and facilitating effective collaboration to protect these vital water sources. Her research was instrumental in a successful legal action to preserve 7,000 acres of BWWB land—a potential crowning achievement for her illustrious career if the negotiated settlement is approved.
Recognizing that Tricia’s unique contributions cannot be easily replaced, CRS is undergoing a reorganization, outsourcing certain administrative functions, and creating opportunities for increased capacity in public education and communications. A forthcoming opening for an Administrative Coordinator will be announced soon.
Tricia joins the esteemed ranks of other retirees, such as Dr. Randy Haddock and Gordon Black, who continue to be integral parts of the CRS family, offering their wisdom and guidance. The organization owes an immeasurable debt of gratitude to Tricia Sheets for her tireless commitment, visionary leadership, and transformative impact. As she steps into retirement, Tricia leaves behind a legacy that will continue to inspire and guide the Cahaba River Society for years to come.