Hurricane Creekkeeper


John Wathen
[email protected]

Hurricane Creek is an integral part of the Black Warrior watershed, it flows from the town of Vance through Brookwood, Cottondale, and Holt where it spills into the Black Warrior River, just northeast of Tuscaloosa. The creek is about 32 miles long and flows entirely within the boundaries of Tuscaloosa County. Although the many commercial and industrial activities of Alabama's past, primarily coal mining, have completely changed the creek, in most aspects Hurricane Creek is cleaner today than in previous decades. But rapid population increases and efforts to stimulate economic growth have increased problems of sedimentation and erosion for the watershed. Learning how to implement smart growth policies which preserve and protect our fragile natural wetlands and streams is a priority for us.

John Wathen is the Hurricane Creekkeeper and founder of Friends of Hurricane Creek in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. An Alabama native who grew up on the Black Warrior River and served in the United States Navy, John formed the Stroker’s Paddle Club in 1992. After being exposed to toxic chemical poisoning in his industrial day job, John quickly moved to become an environmentalist. In 1997, he helped found the Friends of Hurricane Creek. The organization became an official part of the Waterkeeper Alliance in 2005 and John was named the Hurricane Creekkeeper. He has been a strong watchdog, educator, and activist for Hurricane Creek, as well as many other important environmental causes. He's well-known in Alabama and in the Southeast as a first responder to environmental disasters.


P.O. Box 40836
Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35404