Archive for the ‘Policy’ Category

Cahaba Current: May 2018

Thursday, May 31st, 2018

Cahaba River Society Updates, News, & Events
View this email in your browser


The Cahaba is running hard, and so are we!  Federal and local policy changes could affect the Cahaba–find out what we’re doing and how you can help!

This year we have seen an unprecedented demand for seats on our guided canoe tours. Check out our article on the new reservation policies for 2019 to increase your chances of getting a spot next year.

TAKE ACTION: call on your city now to reduce flooding & stormwater pollution

Do you live in Trussville, Irondale, Vestavia, Homewood or Mountain Brook? These cities must adopt new stormwater management codes for development, in the next 1 to 3 weeks!This is your chance to call your mayor and city council members to ask them to improve stormwater management.
The Cahaba River beneath the Grants Mill bridge
during normal flow (left) and after a rain event (right).
If you’ve watched the Cahaba filling with mud, with collapsing banks and eroding creeks, or dealt with flooding in your area, you’ve seen the River’s biggest problem:  the increased rate and volume of stormwater runoff from development.  ADEM has issued stormwater permits to cities and counties in the upper Cahaba basin requiring each of them to adopt new post-construction stormwater ordinances and design standards for development that reduce runoff, filter pollutants, and encourage green infrastructure solutions. This is a vitally important opportunity to restore the River!

Most of the municipalities in the upper Cahaba basin will be adopting their version of a post-construction stormwater ordinance in the next 1 to 3 weeks. CRS has been meeting intensively with your city officials and making progress to strengthen the model ordinance they have been considering.

Please reach out and tell your mayor or city councilor that CRS understands the nature of the river’s problems and proposes feasible, cost-effective solutions that will help restore the ecological health of the Cahaba River.  Encourage them to adopt the Cahaba River Society’s recommendations about their post-construction ordinance, and thank them for caring about impacts of stormwater.

Learn more about Cahaba River Society’s recommendations

Hot off the presses: new brochure spreads the word about invasive taro, free presentations and brochures copies available to public

Cahaba River Society and the Birmingham Botanical Gardens have developed a new brochure to help continue the public education campaign against invasive taro.
Along with the return of our cherished native plant life, spring has also meant the return of the dreaded invasive taro plant (sometimes called elephant ear) that continues to threaten the Cahaba River, including areas of sensitive Cahaba lily habitat.

As a continuation of our work to stem the spread of this invasive plant, Cahaba River Society and the Birmingham Botanical Gardens have developed a public education strategy to bring information to landscape and garden professionals and enthusiasts. We have published an attractive and informative brochure and developed a presentation that can be delivered to any interested party, free of charge.

Do you know of a good location to distribute brochures? Do you know of a garden club or other civic group that might like a presentation? Call us at 205-322-5326 to request a presentation or a set of brochures.

Guided Canoe Tours for 2018 are FULL–learn how to increase your chances of getting a spot next year.

Cahaba River Society’s guided canoe tours are an experience like no other. Whether it’s your first time in a canoe or you’ve paddled the Cahaba a hundred times, our experienced guides will deliver a unique, hands-on encounter that will change the way that you see the River.These canoe outings help to create special connections to the Cahaba that inspire people to protect it, and that’s why Cahaba River Society has always worked to take as many people out on the River as possible. As more and more people have learned about these special trips, we are now facing an unprecedented demand and have received far more requests for trips than we can accommodate.

For that reason, we are making some changes to our guided canoe tour reservation policy that will take effect in 2019:

  1. The schedule of canoe trips will first be released to attendees at our annual meeting which is held on or about the 4th Thursday of every January, and attendees will be given the first chance to sign up.
  2. The schedule will then be emailed to members for their chance to sign up.
  3. The schedule will be posted on the Cahaba River Society website and reservations will become open to the general public in March.
  4. All participants over the age of twelve will be asked to make a donation to cover the cost of staff time and the use of our equipment. (No donation will be asked of participants under the age of 12, but everyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.)
    • Requested donation for members: $20
    • Requested donation for non-members: $40 (includes membership)
    • A $10 non-refundable deposit (to be subtracted from the donation) is due at the time of reservation

We hope that these new policies will make our reservation process smoother in future years. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding!

Become a Member
Read Policies for Guided Canoe Trips

Attention Cahaba Artists: enter your work for a chance to win a juired exhibition with Paperworkers Local

PaperWorkers Local’s second annual juried exhibition ‘Water of Alabama,’ a juried response to Marianne Nicholson’s Birmingham Museum of Art exhibition ‘Waterline.’
“April” by Katie Baldwin
Marianne Nicholson is an artist of Scottish and Dzawada’enuxw First Nations descent and believes that Indigenous worldviews, including the notion of community connection to one another and to the land, can benefit all peoples. The varied people of Alabama have deep ties to the water and land of Alabama and it is our hope that those ties and appreciation of water will provide inspiration for submissions to this show.

The competition is open to all artists. All two dimensional works on paper will be considered. Accepted works must be delivered and retrieved in person.

First Prize: $300 plus a solo show at Paperworkers Local in 2019.
Second Prize: $150
Third Prize: $75

Graham C. Boettcher, PhD, the R. Hugh Daniel Director of the Birmingham Museum of Art

$25 for 3 images

Party on the Porch with Alabama Outdoors

June 1st│5:30 pm-7:00 pm at Alabama Outdoors in Homewood
Enjoy good company, good food from Off The Hook Food Truck and Catering and Urban Pops, good brews from Avondale Brewing Company and good tunes from Tonal Vision, all while doing good for our community.

Proceeds from Party on the Porch benefit the Cahaba River Society. This is a family-friendly event. We hope to see you there!

RSVP on Facebook

Cahaba River Ramble

June 9th│6:30 am check-in; 7:30 am race begins at the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge 
Join us for our Annual Cahaba River Ramble Trail Race, a spectacular trail race along the Cahaba River in the National Wildlife Refuge while the Cahaba Lilies are in bloom. Races include 5K, and 10-mile races along with a range of family-friendly fun activities!

Register for Cahaba River Ramble

Cahaba River Fry-Down

September 30th│ Noon – 4 p.m. at Railroad Park 
Mark your calendars now for this culinary community event and celebration of the Cahaba River.  The Fry-Down is a competitive cook-off surrounded by a party in the heart of downtown Birmingham at Railroad Park!  Featuring craft beers, wildlife, a climbing wall, live music, games, activities for all ages, and much, much more!

Get Tickets!


Your donation helps to protect & restore the Cahaba for future generations.




Copyright © 2018 Cahaba River Society, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Cahaba River Society Statement on Repeal of Clean Water Rule

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

Beth K. Stewart, Executive Director

June 27, 2017

EPA’s action today to repeal the Clean Water Rule seriously weakens clean water safeguards and threatens the Cahaba and our drinking water.

The Clean Water Rule is a science-based, necessary restoration of the scope of the Clean Water Act. EPA should not repeal it and allow uncontrolled pollution discharge that will make its way into water resources that people and wildlife depend on.

This matters in the Cahaba River Watershed. In 2004, it was only because of the original scope of the Act that we were able to stop horrendous chicken processing waste from being dumped into a small seasonal creek that eventually fouled our entire river above the drinking water intake. Without the new rule, pollution dumping in headwater streams could go unchecked.

What can I do?

  • Learn more and protest EPA’s repeal of the Clean Water
  • Click here to view a fact sheet for more information.
  • Click here to see a sign-on letter for groups or as a model for your personal letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

A real world example of why this matters:

An old Gold Kist chicken processing plant used to dump chicken waste from a failing treatment system into a small seasonal creek near Trussville. That stream eventually flowed past Camp Coleman and into the Cahaba River above the drinking water intakes. A big stretch of river was seriously polluted by the waste. CRS, AL Environmental Council, and Southern Environmental Law Center teamed to bring a successful lawsuit that halted the pollution in 2004.

Back then the Clean Water Act stood firm. The clean up of that pollution dumping meant Girl Scouts could safely swim in the River at Camp Coleman again. It cut the nutrient pollution from piped sources in the entire Cahaba watershed by half, cleaning up milky, algae-choked, fish-killing waters.

But if we brought that action today, the citizen lawsuit could be thrown out of court. Does that make any sense? US Supreme Court cases had created confusion about whether the Clean Water Act protects small headwater streams, wetlands. EPA’s Clean Water Rule was based on a thorough, science-based process to identify how water resources are interconnected and what waters – such as small streams and wetlands – should be specifically protected from pollution under the Act.

What was the process to develop the clean water safeguards that the Trump Administration axed? An extensive scientific report was peer reviewed by the independent Science Advisory Board and received more than 130,000 comments. The Clean Water Rule had a 5-month public comment process and generated 1.1 million comments, 80% of which were supportive.

EPA’s rush action to rescind the rule ignores all of this. The Trump Administration’s action is putting drinking water for the Birmingham region and more than 117 million Americans at risk. According to SELC, the rescission of this rule threatens isolated wetlands and over half (54 percent) of the stream miles that supply water for public drinking water systems for 2.6 million people in our state.