Birmingham loves darters

Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama
Watercress darter mural across from East Lake United Methodist Church – photo by Pat Byington

Did you know the Birmingham area is the only place in the world the Vermilion and Watercress darters can be found?

And help is on the way to preserve these small fish that are the most endangered in the world.

Last week, the US. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced that they will be funding a project to protect and enhance Watercress darter habitat at Watercress Darter National Wildlife Refuge, which is in Jefferson County near Bessemer.

Birmingham Alabama
Watercress darter mural in East Lake – photo by Pat Byington

According to USFWS, a project team will maintain the current pool habitats on Watercress Darter National Wildlife Refuge for the endangered watercress darter to improve migration and genetic diversity, promote additional aquatic habitats on the refuge, and monitor restored and developed habitats. They will also remove a failing water control structure, promote connectivity for fish passage between pools, and enhance habitats downstream or adjacent to the pools.

Watercress darter mural – photo by Pat Byington
Darter Festival on April 9th at MAKEbhm

Additional support for Birmingham’s endangered darters can be found next month at the Southern Environmental Center’s Annual Darter Festival.  A much anticipated event, the fundraiser supports the Turkey Creek Nature Preserve, home to the Vermilion darter.  Along with food and great music, the event marks the debut of Good People Brewing Company’s “Darter Ale.”

Spread the news – Birmingham loves its darters.

 

 

Author: Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.