Ours to save, or to lose

Posted 5/13/21

Ours to save, or to lose. Truer words have never been spoken.

Alabama is home to one of the most diverse forest and aquatic systems in the nation. Baldwin County sits on the crowning jewel of …

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Ours to save, or to lose

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Ours to save, or to lose. Truer words have never been spoken. Alabama is home to one of the most diverse forest and aquatic systems in the nation. Baldwin County sits on the crowning jewel of this system, the Mobile River Basin, “the culmination of the richest river complex in North America and one of the richest in the world in terms of the sheer number of species and types of habitat,” writes Fairhope resident Ben Raines in his most recent book, Saving America’s Amazon. He also details how this magnificent, ancient river system is being destroyed in a “silent massacre.” The number of new species discovered each year is far outweighed by the number that become extinct in the same time period. A lack of simple environmental protection measures, laws that are commonplace in most states to keep industry and housing away from waterways, are non-existent here. Runoff fills our rivers. Industry shoves dams into the cool waves and stops the natural flow. These abundant, amazing areas are being swept aside to make way for profit. We are the only ones who can stop this. Did you know that when you drive across the Bayway into Mobile that concrete thoroughfare raises you above the home of more species of freshwater fish, mussels, snails, turtles and crawfish than live in any other state? Did you know that families of American Bald Eagles soar over the estuary, and their populations are growing each year? Did you know that due to Alabama’s “not too hot, not too cold” climate in the ice age, the animals that live here are the product of millions of years of evolution? On much of the rest of the continent the animals, flora and fauna is just thousands of years old, making many of Alabama’s creatures rare, living fossils. Simply put, the natural world that resides within our borders is amazing. And as Raines points out, it is ours to save or lose. Do yourself a favor. Take a day and pick a trail to walk in the estuary or along Mobile Bay. Take a boat cruise offered through Five Rivers or Blakeley State Park so you can see these magnificent places up close. Alabama is beautiful. It is abundant. And without our protection, it might someday be gone. Help be part of the movement that saves it.