River Voice – Sept. 2019

Hello, River Family!

It’s another day in paradise. As I am reflecting on the incredible summer that is fading fast, I feel really encouraged about the condition of Little River. At the end of August, SwimGuide Season came to a close. Over 15 weeks, we collected 172 water samples at Eleven strategic points each week, throughout the Little River Watershed. We do all of this to help keep you aware of the water quality and reinforce the fact that Little River is an amazing place to explore and enjoy.
Let’s recap… Y’all, June was WET! It seemed like we stayed drenched the first 4 weeks of water testing. This wasn’t a bad thing. (Personally, I loved it.) Because of the rain, we were able to observe stormwater runoff and how it is linked to higher Escherichia coli (E. coli) levels. We found that higher e.coli levels usually returned to safe levels within 24 to 48 hours after a rain event. We also found that cloudy water usually had higher e.coli levels. Out of all 172 e.coli test, only 7 were dangerously high. And 9 were moderately high. That means, overall, Little River Looks Really Good!
July and August warmed up and dried up. My wife, Angie and I love to go testing together, but sometimes work pulls us in separate directions. I caught myself hurrying through the testing day to see how efficiently and accurately I could perform the routine. As the temperature got hotter, that approach lacked the same fun appeal. So, I got my youngest daughter, Ellie to go with me. She was a great help and great company. We could not, not have some fun too so, Ellie and I took the opportunity to cool off in the water at Martha’s Falls and the Canyon Mouth. If you haven’t visited these areas, they are absolutely awesome places to swim. An annual pass to Canyon Mouth is $35 and really worth it. The NPS folks are doing a great job with the park and we proudly support them.
Clean Water calls for a celebration! Starting 5:00 on Friday, August 30th at Roadside-Que in Fort Payne, Justin and the gang will have a band on the back porch! Come on and throw down with your river family. Roadside will donate a portion of beer sales from the night to LRWK! We hope you will come out and Raise A Glass to Little River! Cheers!
Another incredible opportunity we had this summer was to be a part of the Southern Exposure Film Fellowship. “Something About Little River”, was produced and directed this summer, in Mentone by an emerging filmmaker, Jeb Brackner. The short documentary film will tell an authentic, engaging stories about Little River and the people who cherish it. This film will not only highlight our incredible waterway but help with our Wild & Scenic Campaign. Alabama Rivers Alliance will premiere the films on September 12th at the Altamont School in Birmingham and The Little River Waterkeeper will host a FREE SCREENING on Thursday, September 26th at the JSU Canyon Center at 6pm. We hope that everyone in the community will come out and support this exciting event!
The Little River Waterkeeper held their annual board retreat last month on the river in Mentone. We completed work on a strategic plan for the next three years. Martha Hunter with the Alabama Rivers Alliance facilitated the two day meeting and did an excellent job of guiding us through the process. We remembered where we have been as an organization and set clear goals for where we are going. We had great food, laughed a bunch and this goes without saying, we had a cool down swim in Little River. The result from planning will bring about some positive changes in the organization. Our goal to evolve Little River Waterkeeper into a stand alone organization will reflect our mission to foster and protect the pristine resource of Little River through education, awareness and monitoring. Another goal, high on our agenda is to nominate Little River for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River system. This is an extraordinary opportunity for Little River and our area. Our tests have proven that Little River has had GREAT water quality for the last several years and confirms that your Little River is one of the cleanest rivers in the water rich state of Alabama. We are excited to launch this campaign with our partners at Alabama River Alliance.
Our last Full Moon Kayaking Adventure of the season will be on Saturday, September 14th from 7:00-10:00pm. This is a fun and easy event with great views of the rising moon. We launch on beautiful Lake Lahusage just before dark and paddle out to the old washed out dam and talk about the days gone by. Experiences like these make a lasting impact on participants. The evening adventure is a $40 donation that includes your sit on top kayak rental. Spaces are limited. Send Angie an email at angie@oneworldadventureco.org and let her know you want to join the fun!
Have a sense of pride about your river. It’s really special!
In the words of Clean Water Future “Trash Blows – Stow it!”
Maybe we have “Little River Fever.” If that’s so, we hope you catch it, too. We would love your support on all of our upcoming projects and events!
For more information about Little River Waterkeeper, visit our website at www.littleriverwaterkeeper.org
For more information about Southern Exposure Films, visit southrnexposurefilms.org
Cheers!! To Little River!

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