4 days ago
Fun fact: The Cahaba River has a greater diversity of fish species than the entire state of California!
Alabama’s 132k miles of rivers and streams are home to 38% of North America’s fresh water fish species, 51% of its freshwater turtle species, and 60% of its freshwater mussel species! Alabama has consistently been rated in the top 5 US states for biological diversity, and Alabama is the most biologically diverse state east of the Mississippi. Unfortunately, it’s also ranked in the top 5 for number of endangered species.
Why does any of this matter?
-Alabama's lakes and rivers generate over 1 Billion dollars in revenue from recreational activities alone.
-Over 70% of new medicines are produced from natural sources, so maintaining biological diversity is paramount to finding new medicines.
-Whether it's from industry, agriculture, or, my personal favorite that keeps me employed, stormwater runoff, pollution costs taxpayers. From having to provide additional treatment to keep drinking water clean and safe, to dredging channels filled with sediment, to removing hazardous industrial waste left over from the 70s, you’re paying for it all! By looking out for our rivers and the life that inhabits them, we can save taxpayers some money!
Thanks for coming to my TED Talk. Stats mostly from Alabamarivers.org.