Help protect one of the most biodiverse waterways on earth [VIDEO]


Regions Bank / Cahaba River Society
Volunteers from Regions Bank embark on a day-long trip on the Cahaba River to clean litter. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Through Earth Week (April 16 — April 22), volunteers from Regions Bank have joined the Cahaba River Society to clean up trash from the Cahaba River in Birmingham. Bham Now tagged along with the volunteers to learn more and see why their work is so important.

About the Cahaba River Society’s Earth Week Clean-Up

Regions Bank / Cahaba River Society
Wil Rainer, Field Programs Director with the Cahaba River Society, informs volunteers on canoe safety. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

One of the most biodiverse waterways on Earth, the Cahaba River supports up to 139 rare and imperiled species. The Cahaba also has more different kinds of fish than any other river of its size in North America. It’s not just wildlife that count on the Cahaba River, either—one-fifth of the Birmingham area’s drinking water comes from the Cahaba.

“The Southeast—and especially Alabama—leads the country when it comes to freshwater aquatic biodiversity, and the Cahaba River is the heart of that system. This watershed is one of the most biodiverse places on Earth; the Cahaba River is the crown jewel of that remarkable system. It’s incredibly important for us to take care of this river and ensure that it stays in good health.”

Wil Rainer, Field Programs Director, Cahaba River Society

Throughout Earth Week 2023, members of the Cahaba River Society led volunteers along the Cahaba River to remove litter, encourage native wildlife, mitigate erosion and more. These are tremendous steps in keeping the Cahaba River clean and healthy.

Joined by volunteers from Regions Bank

During the Cahaba River Society’s Earth Week 2023 Clean-Ups, teams of volunteers from Regions Bank tagged along to help, hopping aboard canoes and walking along the riverbanks to pick up trash and debris.

“Each year, Regions gives us a day to volunteer and serve our community. We’re so thankful to be out here cleaning up the river and keeping it a nice, safe place for families to enjoy nature.”

Robin Bird, Field Technologies Technician, Regions Bank
Regions Bank / Cahaba River Society
A group of volunteers from Regions Bank before embarking on their canoe trip of the Cahaba River. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

On Thursday, April 20, one group of Regions Bank volunteers traveled by canoe to clean a stretch of the Cahaba River near Rocky Ridge Road, while another group cleaned the banks of Chace Lake.

“The Cahaba River is very special, so we enjoy getting to take care of it and preserve it. I have two young kids at home, and I want to make sure that they get the chance to play in a clean Cahaba River just like I did.”

Murray Statham, Commercial Banker, Regions Bank
Regions Bank / Cahaba River Society
Trash collected by Regions Volunteers at Chace Lake. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Regions’ support of the Cahaba River Society is just one part of the bank’s annual Share the Good outreach program, which directly complements Regions’ ongoing focus on volunteer service.

“We can’t do what we do without the support of organizations like Regions Bank. The Cahaba River Society is a small staff of seven people monitoring 25,000 miles of river and watershed. We have the knowledge, but we don’t have eyes everywhere! The backing of local organizations helps us complete our mission of protecting and preserving the Cahaba River.”

Wil Rainer, Field Programs Director, Cahaba River Society

Get involved with the Cahaba River Society

Regions Bank / Cahaba River Society
(Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

There are several ways you can support the Cahaba River Society, whether it’s becoming a member, donating, volunteering or joining the Cahaba River Society for one of their events. However, even keeping an eye on the waterway for any potential problems can make a difference.

“If you see something in the Cahaba River that shouldn’t be there—such as trash or a large amount of dead fish—give the Cahaba River Society a call at (205) 322-5326 or send an email to We’ll gather supplies and organize a team to fix it, but we need your help to spot those issues before they get out of hand.”

Wil Rainer, Field Programs Director, Cahaba River Society

To learn more about the Cahaba River Society, visit their website as well as their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages.

Have you tagged along on a cleanup on the Cahaba River? Tag us @bhamnow to let us know!

Sponsored by:

Nathan Watson
Nathan Watson

Senior Content Producer at Bham Now

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