Sustainability leaders get their feet wet “chasing” fish in the Cahaba watershed

EMERGE Birmingham Alabama

This week, the Green Resource Center for Alabama (GRCA) 2017 EMERGE Leadership class got their feet wet “chasing” fish in the Little Cahaba River.

Spotlighting the Cahaba watershed’s biodiversity, the EMERGE Leadership class, whose focus is sustainability, participated in a seining activity organized by Gordon Black from the Cahaba River Society. Shuffling their feet on the bottom of the stream bed approximately 10 yards, the group was able to direct and gather eight different species of fish into the seine.

Along with the hands-on demonstration, Black provided the leadership class with some facts about the Cahaba River and the watershed, which is one of the most biodiverse rivers in North America.

Birmingham Alabama
Cahaba River Society’s Gordon Black identifying darters and shiners to the Green Resource Center for Alabama EMERGE Leadership Class

For example:

  • The Cahaba River is home to more fish species (135 in total) per mile than any other river of its size or larger in North America. The Cahaba has more fish species than all of California.
  •  Out of 770 species of mussel worldwide, 182 live in the Cahaba.
  • The tiny Cahaba watershed has more biodiversity than either the Colorado or Columbia watersheds.

Fish 3 Sustainability leaders get their feet wet "chasing" fish in the Cahaba watershed

The first program of its kind in Alabama, EMERGE is a leadership program designed by Green Resource Center for Alabama,  to empower professionals and community leaders with the resources they need to advance sustainability within their networks.

Sustainability Birmingham Alabama
Green Resource Center for Alabama’s (GRCA) 2017 EMERGE Leadership Class and GRCA Board members

Since its launch in January, EMERGE participants have learned about sustainability programs and initiatives from universities, businesses, environmental organizations and the research groups.


Pat Byington
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.

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