Our organization was founded in 2010 by a group of environmental leaders in the Coosa Valley of Alabama in response to the river being listed as the 10th most endangered river in the United States by American Rivers. From humble beginnings in a small mini-storage warehouse office in Riverside on the banks of Logan Martin Lake, our organization has grown to three full-time staff, dozens of interns, an excellent Board of Directors, an Advisory Council, dozens of volunteers and interns and hundreds of members. Our office is now located in the Town of Mt Laurel, just off the north fork of Yellow Leaf Creek which an important tributary to Lay Lake on the Coosa.
To fulfill our mission of protecting, promoting, and restoring the Coosa River, our organization has developed four core programs to engage the many people who live, work, visit and recreate on the Coosa River, its tributaries and lakes.
Through the Fish Guide, Swim Guide, Riverkeeper Patrol, and Education & Outreach programs, Coosa Riverkeeper encourages everyone to enjoy the river, lakes, and “skinny water” or creeks, while providing information about water quality conditions and fish consumption advisories for both sport and leisure.
Our organization works to answer the simple questions “is it safe to swim?”, “are the fish safe to eat?”, and “what can I do to make the Coosa healthier for my community?” as a means to ensure the public is aware of issues that impact recreation, public health, and property value
People like you make our work possible and we want to ensure to maximize your investment and be transparent on where your donations are spent. Our work is funded by our dues-paying members, community foundations, private foundations, and many fundraising events throughout the year.
The Standards for Excellence aims to raise the level of accountability, transparency, and effectiveness of all nonprofit organizations to foster excellence and inspire trust. This rigorous accreditation process ensures the best practices for our nonprofit’s organizational governance, management, policies and procedures, and legal compliance at any stage of a nonprofit’s lifecycle. This accreditation identifies major areas of nonprofit governance and management which include specific benchmarks and measures that provide a structured approach to building capacity, accountability, and sustainability in our organization.
Coosa Riverkeeper is a proud member of Waterkeeper Alliance, an international network of over 350 organizations working to protect their local waterways on 6 continents. Waterkeepers are found across the globe and within Alabama we are joined by seven other Waterkeepers: Black Warrior Riverkeeper, Cahaba Riverkeeper, Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper, Hurricane Creekkeeper, Mobile Baykeeper, Little River Waterkeeper, and Tennessee Riverkeeper. Coosa Riverkeeper is the only advocacy organization solely focused the Lower and Middle Coosa Basins ranging from “skinny waters” of Big Wills Creek near Ft. Payne to Lake Neely Henry down to the tailwaters below Jordan Dam in Wetumpka. We are joined in protecting the Coosa River by Upper Coosa Riverkeeper, a division of the Coosa River Basin Initiative in Rome, Georgia. Their jurisdiction covers the headwaters of the Coosa, including the Etowah and Oostanaula Rivers as well as Weiss Lake in Alabama.
In 2011, we were named “Best New Group” by Alabama Rivers Alliance, a statewide alliance of water advocacy organizations. In 2017, we were named “Best Group of the Year” by Alabama Rivers Alliance, a statewide alliance of water advocacy organizations. In 2018, Coosa Riverkeeper and the seven other Alabama Waterkeepers were honored as “Best Group of the Year” for our collective work on “sewage right-to-know”, resulting in the first statewide electronic notification system for sewage overflows administered by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.