A newsletter for organizational partners of the Alabama Rivers Alliance

Welcome to the September 2023 edition of ARA's monthly partner newsletter! Our partner newsletter's purpose is to help us all sustain the flow & keep moving forward together in our respective work in Alabama. Open us up this month to read about upcoming events, partner news, job postings, funding sources, and opportunities to enjoy Alabama's great outdoors! 



Relevant environmental regulatory updates & opportunities to let agencies know how their decisions can impact your work.



ADEM announced an open comment period and public hearing to consider revisions to Division 3 of the ADEM Administrative Code and State Implementation Plan, which are the rules and regulations around Alabama's Air Pollution Control program. These extensive changes are proposed to incorporate federal requirements for new air pollution sources and hazardous air pollutant standards. A public hearing will be hosted on Wednesday, October 11, 2023 at ADEM's central office, and the comment period will remain open until October 13, 2023. Read the proposed rules, link to the Federal Register, and more details on ADEM's public notice.

See other rule revisions currently open for comment on ADEM's public notice page, which include the Tank Trust Fund and the Environmental Covenants rules.



EPA has proposed to deny Alabama's application submitted for their state coal ash permit program and better protect local communities from pollution! The EPA preliminarily determined that portions of Alabama's CCR permit program are not compliant with federal regulations for coal ash. This marks the first state CCR permit program the EPA is proposing to deny. The 60-day open comment opportunity will close on October 13, 2023 and an online public hearing on September 27, 2023. Visit the EPA's webpage on the denial to learn more, link to the Federal Register, and register to speak.




September 29 - Urban Farming Workshop

  • The AL National Women in Agriculture is excited to bring this long awaited training

September 30 - 18th Village Creek Fall Cleanup

  • Join the Village Creek Society for their 18th annual fall clean up of the creek

September 30 - North AL Trail & Recreation Fest

  • Head to Point Mallard Park in Decatur for NATR Fest 2023

October 1 - Cahaba River Fry Down

  • Don't miss out on the 14th annual catfish throwdown at Cahaba Brewing!

October 4-7 - Alabama Coastal Birdfest

  • 3 days of bird watching on the Gulf Coast with South Alabama Land Trust

October 4 - 3rd Annual Green Mass

  • Join Holy Family Catholic Church for Green Mass honoring St. Francis of Assisi

October 6-8 - Dave Whitlock Memorial Southern One-Fly Tournament 

  • Beginner friendly, one day fly fishing tournament with DSO & Coosa Riverkeeper

October 14 - Cahaba Riverkepeer Tire Rodeo

  • Come volunteer to pull tires out the river with Cahaba Riverkeeper!

October 14 - Southern Cahaba Canoe Tour

  • Paddle & explore the lower Cahaba with Cahaba River Society

October 15 - Pinchgut Revival Bluegrass & Folk Festival

  • Join the Friends of Pinchgut Creek for a celebration & thank you to the community

October 21 - Overnight Cahaba Canoe Tour

  • Camping & paddling on the Cahaba River with the Cahaba River Society

November 9 - Southern Exposure Montgomery

  • Welcome back to the Capri for the 2023 Southern Exposure films, Montgomery folks!


  • We had thought provoking and insightful community conversation with Representative Bob Fincher (R-37) and partners in the Tallapoosa watershed about how to engage with elected officials about important issues impacting our waterways. This was our first Water is Life Community Conservation that highlighted the Tallapoosa watershed, and we can't wait to host more this fall!
  • ARA staff went down to the Gulf Coast for the 2023 Alabama Water Resources Conference in Perdido. The weekend was packed to the gills with interdisciplinary water research and resources. ARA's legislative work was highlighted in a poster presentation by Kelsey Herndon & Rebekke Muench about our Water is Life Community Conversations, see more from Kelsey about our work together this fall here.
  • Jack West represented ARA in Montgomery at the EPA's public hearing on their proposed denial of Alabama's state coal ash permitting plan. He took the mic to speak to support of their proposed denial and urge the EPA to make Alabama utilities move their ash away from our rivers and drinking water! Check out Mobile Baykeeper's live tweets of the hearing to see what folks were commenting about
  • Watch the 2023 Southern Exposure films - coming to a screening near you soon and available at anytime! We hosted an amazing World Premiere of the 2023 Southern Exposure films at the Altamont School. Most of the filmmakers were able to join us for their debut and be celebrated.
  • Interested in bringing the new Southern Exposure Films (or a curated program of selected films!) to your community or organization's meeting? Let Kelly know and we will make it happen!


Submit events to ARA anytime here!



Amplifying the voices of those working for change in Alabama by celebrating news, wins of all sizes, milestones, AND ways others could use support! Submit your news so we can celebrate you!

  • Help make the 14th annual Cahaba River Fry-Down a success! Join the Cahaba River Society this coming Saturday at Cahaba Brewing for their biggest fundraiser of the year. Buy tickets, see how to sponsor, and more here!
  • Black Warrior Riverkeeper and GASP, with legal representation by the Southern Environmental Law Center, are acting against Bluestone Coke for their continued breaches of the Clean Water Act despite not being operational. Read more here.
  • The 2023 South Alabama Land Trust Photo Contest is open now through November 1st! Submit photos capturing nature in south Alabama and read guidelines here.
  • The Huntsville Environmental Coalition is proud of their efforts working with the city of Huntsville on establishment of the Sustainability Commission. Read more of what the city of Huntsville is working on for environmental sustainability here.
  • Mobile Environmental Justice Action Coalition (MEJAC) hosted the official launch of Africatown's cemetery documentation program with archeologist Dr. Alexandra Jones and a training on how to digitally document and preserve gravesites. Learn more about their preservation efforts here.
  • The Great Alabama 650 kicks off this weekend! Join Alabama Scenic River Trail this Saturday 9/30 in Gadsden to watch the pass and cheer them as they pass by, more details on Facebook here.
  • Wild Alabama hit the trails on National Public Lands Day in the Bankhead National Forest, and volunteers removed 1,750 pounds of trash from a single 5 mile stretch along highway 33! Read more and see pictures on Facebook, here.
  • Vote for Chattahoochee Riverkeeper to win in the 2023 Defender Service Awards here. They are a finalist to win a new vehicle & $25k to support their work. Vote once a day until October 4th.
  • Check out a recent interview with Taylor Clark of Milo's Tea Company by Rosey White, Black Warrior Riverkeeper's AmeriCorps member. Read about how tea & the Black Warrior mix it up here.
  • Head out to ARA's own Martha Hunter's home in Blountsville on October 7 or 8 for the National Solar Home Tour! Register to tour 5 homes - an underground home, straw bale, modified Mongolian Yurt, clerestory & a retrofitted ranch style house. More information, FAQ, & registration here.
  • There are copious opportunities to get outdoors for fun and to volunteer this fall! Just a few: Popup Swift Night Out on 9/27, 18th annual Village Creek clean up on 9/30, Cahaba Riverkeeper Tire Rodeo on 10/14, and Pinchgut Revival Fest on 10/15.

This newsletter is created by a small team with limited resources, please use reply to this email or click below to submit newsletter items from your organization! 




  • EPA Environmental Education grant competition is open now through 11/8, learn more
  • Daniel Foundation grants for Education & Youth focus area Letter of Intent due 10/16, learn more
  • The Exploration Fund Grant for graduate/post grad/early career scientists, apply by 10/28
  • Walmart Local Community Grants, apply for multiple stores near you by next deadline 10/15, learn more



Alabama Rivers Alliance
2014 6th Avenue North, Suite 200 | Birmingham, Alabama 35203
205.322.6395 |

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