Get on water 1200

Getting out on the water is not only fun and great exercise, the more you use the water, the more likely it is you'll think about protecting it. So go ahead, go for a swim, get your fishing pole, take a boat for a ride, or attend a water festival near you.

Problems

Our Waters Are In Danger

Too many of our streams, bayous, and bays have trash and other pollutants floating in them. This not only detracts from their beauty but can also cause many different types of ecological harm.

Lack of Access

Development patterns and socio-economic factors can make the waterways in urban areas inaccessible to even nearby neighborhoods. This lack of access lessens the benefits that communities can gain from waters that are widely accessible for recreation and fishing. National Estuary Programs work to improve citizen access and when people get on the water, they often want to do more to take care of a resource they can use and enjoy. (EPA)

Things You Can Do

Go Kayaking or Canoeing

There is so much to explore as you paddle down our area streams and bayous. You'll also see first hand the damage pollution can have on our waters.

Go to The Beach

Alabama has some of the best beaches in the country. Whether you want to catch some sun, go surfing, or build a sandcastle, the beach is a great place to relax and enjoy our greatest resource, water. Check out the Waterkeeper Swim Guide to find the swimming conditions at your favorite beach.

Go Boating

Boats can be a great way to experience our waters. While you're out on the water, go water skiing, knee boarding, or cast out a line and catch your dinner. Check out some of the boating access points near you.

Go Fishing

Make sure you have the appropriate licenses first, then drop a hook and see what bites. Fishing can be a relaxing and fun way to discover new waters near you.

Take a Bike Ride

There are several bike paths and routes in the area that are by our area streams, rivers, and bays.

Go for a Walk or Hike

The Gulf Coast has many trails near water that are not only fun and beautiful, they are often very educational. Check out one of the many state parks in the area, or take advantage of one of the many multi-use trails through our cities and towns.

Resources

Paddling

Paddling.net has list of kayak launches

Wild Native

WildNative provides boat tours and kayak rentals from Oster Bay Marina in Gulf Shores

DNCR

DNCR® has a list of Freshwater Boating Access Points in Alabama

Waterkeeper

Waterkeeper Swim Guide allows you to check swimming conditions on the web, iOS, and Android apps

Related Actions


Bring Your Own Bag

Plastic bags are often found in our waters when they blow away or are disposed of improperly. They remain there for generations to come as they slowly degrade into small pieces that are easily misconceived for food by fish and marine wildlife.

Trash In The Trash

In a rainy place like the Gulf coast, litter and plastic debris is easily washed into storm drains and from there into our streams, bay and Gulf. Making sure our trash gets into trash cans to be processed by city services, helps keep our water clean.

Types of Pollution


When water rushes off hardened surfaces, erosion of sediments degrade water conditions and smother and disrupt seagrass growth and the habitat for benthic organisms they provide.

Compounds like oil, grease, and heavy metals take a long time to break down and threaten the health of both aquatic and human life.

Litter is not only unsightly, but it also causes a variety of problems to the ecosystem as it enters our waters where it is often is mistaken for food by fish and invertebrates.

Too much fertilizer, pet waste, and other nutrients in our water often lead to serious problems like lowering dissolved oxygen levels, preventing seagrass growth, and killing fish.

Disease-causing microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and other single-celled organisms, are referred to as pathogens, some, like Salmonella, cause human health problems.

While pesticides are designed to be toxic to certain organisms, they can often be harmful and kill other species in the marine system that are important for the entire ecosystem.