Explore Alabama's Rivers

Who speaks for the rivers and the life within them? Rivers have no voice. They cannot speak for themselves. They cannot give us a prescription for what will restore and protect them, nor can they tell us what they have meant to humans and other species across time.
— Michael Kensler, Director, Auburn University, Office of Sustainability


Geology, topography, and the water cycle have shaped Alabama's rivers and their watersheds, giving them different "personalities" that teem with special plants and animals. Humans have always benefited from them, and Alabama rivers have figured so prominently in the State's history they are the key images on the official seal.


Each of Alabama's major river systems will be celebrated with a sweeping tour of their natural and human histories that revel their special characteristics. The tour begins with the Tennessee River in North Alabama, then moves into the Mobile Basin, and ends with the rivers of the Coastal Plain.


The human and natural histories of Alabama rivers offer many reasons to celebrate. Rivers have shaped our culture and our livelihoods, and provided places of beauty, reflection, and recreation. However, we have altered the watersheds through which rivers flow, resulting in degradation of water quality and a disturbing decline in aquatic life. Our challenge is to become more aware of rivers so we can wisely protect the good, restore the bad, and not neglect the lifeblood of the state.