Preserving the Mobile Bay Estuary Through Headwater Protection

Healthy waters… They’re vitally important to Alabama’s identity and economy. High-quality streams and wetlands protected by well-managed forests provide clean water, recreational opportunities, and habitats for fish and wildlife.

Protecting high-quality waters now can reduce future needs for costly habitat restoration.

Over the past few decades, millions of dollars have been spent on improving ecological conditions in the impaired streams and rivers of Alabama. While we have achieved some success, miles of streams remain degraded and new impairments continue to be identified.

The Alabama Forest Resources Center, a statewide working forest land trust, was created in 1986 by concerned landowners, foresters, and conservationists to enhance, promote, and preserve Alabama’s forests for future generations. In 2018, The Center joined forces with the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program and the Healthy Watersheds Consortium to strategically protect headwater habitat parcels in the Mobile-Tombigbee and Alabama river basins.

Headwaters are the places where streams begin. They are vitally important for providing clean water, fish and wildlife habitat, and flood control downstream where they’re critical to the health of estuarine resources. By strategically identifying and recruiting landowners to conserve their habitat-rich headwater properties, we hope to sustain the rich species diversity and hydrologic and biological processes underlying our economy, culture, and quality of life.

The hope is to increase the pace of conservation of the State’s remaining healthy headwater habitat parcels. One way of accomplishing this, which has proven highly successful across the country, is through the use of conservation easements.

Special Thanks

Discovering Alabama, additional footage
Kari Servold, Geospatial analysis and map production
Dan Dumont and Mark Bailey, project guidance, additional footage, film edits
Tom Herder, script edits and narration
Roberta Swann, film direction and executive production

Video Produced by Ben Brenner for Cobia Digital