Coosa Riverkeeper


Steven Dudley
[email protected]
(205) 981-6565

The Coosa Valley, rich in aquatic biodiversity and natural beauty, is the one of the most developed rivers in Alabama – The River State. From its headwaters in Georgia and Tennessee the Coosa flows to Alabama where a series of impoundments cover the magnificent shoals that so famously dominated the Coosa in the steamboat era. Unfortunately, the impoundments changed stream ecology to lake ecology, killing dozens of species that once thrived in shoal habitat. As the most aquatically biodiverse subwatershed of the Mobile River Basin, the fourth largest basin in the country in terms of streamflow, the Coosa Valley deserves protection from threats that could further degrade its remarkable character. Our organization was founded in 2010 after American Rivers named the Coosa River one of the ten most endangered rivers in the nation. The three core activities of our organization and our programs are patrolling the waters, educating the public, and advocating for the river. We engage in these activities to further our mission of protecting, restoring and promoting the Coosa River. Our approach to river conservation is driven by the river and its needs, not by politics and self-interest. We supplement our passion for the river with science and an understanding of policy. We get out on the water to see the river and the people who depend on it first hand. When there’s a lack of data or information about an issue on the river, we go collect samples or conduct research. In an age where major decisions  made by lawmakers are based mostly in politics and not in science, we speak up for our river and ensure it is protected from greed and ignorance. We take a watershed approach; we don’t just look at what’s happening on the lakes, we look at what’s happening on all the creeks because it all matters in the scope of a healthy river. Because the Middle and Lower Coosa River Basins in which we work are so expansive at 5,000 square miles, we prioritize our work based on the most urgent issues where we believe our approach to conservation will be most effective. The data that we generate through our research projects, like Water Quality Monitoring, help guide us to the restoration and conservation efforts that will have the greatest impact.

Steven grew up learning to the love the Coosa from an early age by taking every chance to attend summer camp at YMCA Camp Chandler located on Lake Jordan on the Coosa River. There he got to run around and swim, fish, and “blob” to his heart’s content. Later, he would take that love of the river and explore the different areas of Alabama by canoe or kayak. Steven is happiest when he can share his love for the outdoors with friends and family. Steven interned with the Coosa Riverkeeper in 2014 where he admired its goals and continued showing support as a volunteer after the internship concluded. He graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 2016 with a B.A. in Urban Environmental Studies and started working at Spectrum Environmental Consulting. At Spectrum, he initially worked as a Stormwater Technician working on Construction/Industrial Stormwater Common Best Management Practices inspections and reporting, later becoming a Natural Resources Biologist focusing on Waters of the U.S. delineations and permitting.


102-B Croft St
Birmingham, Alabama 35242