Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper uses all the tools in the advocacy toolbox to protect our river – The Clean Water Act, Patrolling the River Basin, Water Quality Monitoring, Education and More
Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper Programs
Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper (CRK) uses a variety of programs in its efforts to protect and restore the Choctawhatchee River and its watershed.
These include patrolling the river basin, responding to citizen concerns and complaints, monitoring water quality, and reviewing and responding to pollution reports, including legal action, influencing agency policy and actions, improving recreational experiences, as well as a variety of educational efforts.
CRK patrols via land, water, and air to monitor conditions that impact water quality and water resources and to respond to citizen complaints. Patrol information is used to file complaints with responsible parties and agencies and to document permit violations for possible legal action.
The image shows the destruction of wetlands for a grazing operation.
Response to Citizen Complaints
CRK responds to citizen complaints filed via phone, text message, email, or Water Reporter Reports. CRK helps citizens file complaints or files complaints or Clean Water Actions on their behalf when warranted.
Water Quality Monitoring
CRK conducts several different monitoring efforts. Chemical monitoring is done at 50+ sites 6 times a year to assess water quality trends. Bacteriological monitoring is performed at around 20 sites several times or more each swimming season.
From time to time, stream bioassessments are performed on streams in the river basin. CRK also, from time to time, volunteers with agency efforts, such as sturgeon work. The pic shows a 138-pound sturgeon with Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper Michael Mullen on the left and Ken Weathers, a state fisheries biologist.
The results from bacteriological monitoring can be accessed via the SWIM Guide, and other data is available on the Alabama Water Watch website (see Resources Section).
CRK reviews discharge monitoring reports (DMRs) and noncompliance reports (NCFs) to detect discharge permit holders with permit violations. When there are repeated violations over time, CRK may decide to file a notice of intent to sue (NOIS) under the citizen suit provisions of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (commonly referred to as the Clean Water Act).
Influencing Policy and Agency Actions
CRK has worked independently and with other organizations to influence agency policy. CRK efforts helped lead to the reclassification of almost all main river and tributary segments under a swimming classification. CRK worked with other Waterkeepers to extend the recreational season. And, with help from other organizations, CRK played a lead role in stopping a dam proposed for the Little Choctawhatchee River.
CRK helped create a Wiregrass Canoe and Kayak Facebook page and works with the Alabama Scenic River Trail to improve access, address safety concerns, and promote recreational use of the river and its tributaries.
CRK works with a host of organizations to do education on water quality, water monitoring, kayaking and kayaking safety for children, climate change, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. Most of these organizations are mentioned on the resources page.
Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper serves notice of intent to sue the City of Dothan for Clean Water Act violations.
Update: Thu, Jun 30, 2016, Attorney General and ADEM file Complaint, No. 38-CV-2016-900281.00
Mon, Aug 24, 2015
Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper, Inc. serves notice of intent to sue the City of Daleville, AL for 640 violations of the Clean Water Act.
Update: Fri, Oct 16, 2015, Attorney General and ADEM file Complaint, No. 26-CV-2015-900141.00
Tue, Aug 5 2014
Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper, Inc. serves notice of intent to sue Water Works and the Sewer Board of the Town of Slocomb, AL for 576 violations of the Clean Water Act.
Update: Mon, Sep 29, 2014, Attorney General and ADEM file Complaint, No. 34-CV-2014-900091
Tue, Jan 28, 2014
Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper serves notice of intent to sue the City of Elba, Alabama for over 2,000 Clean Water Act violations.
Update: Wed, Mar 12, 2014, Attorney General and ADEM file Complaint, No. 19-CV-2014-900014
Thu, Apr 18, 2013
Choctawatchee Riverkeeper serves notice of intent to sue the City of Dothan, AL for Clean Water Act permit violations.
Update: Tue, Jun 4, 2013, City of Dothan adopts Stormwater Management Ordinance
Tue, Aug 5 2014
Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper, Inc. serves notice of intent to sue the Town of Samson, AL for 1,880 violations of the Clean Water Act.
Update: Wed, Sep 24, 2014, Attorney General and ADEM file Complaint, No. 34-CV-2014-900088
Thu, Apr 17, 2008
Environmentalists say they will sue [Dothan] over  wastewater violations.
Update: Tue, Jun 10, 2008, Attorney General files suit, No. 38‑CV‑2008‑900196
Sat, Apr 12, 2008
Groups serve notice of intent to sue Water Works and the Sewer Board of the Town of Ariton over sewage discharges [358 violations].
Update: Mon, Jun 9, 2008, Attorney General files suit, No. 26‑CV‑2008‑900063