Southeast Partnership To Protect Fish and Their Habitats
Southeast aquatic resources protection took a positive step forward with the formal establishment of the Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (SARP). The SARP is a coalition of state, federal and other conservation agencies that are committed to working together for the benefit of the region's aquatic resources. Thirteen southern state agencies, including the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, various regional conservation agencies and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) have agreed to work together for this common goal. Some of SARP's challenges include:
* 34% of North America's imperiled fish species and 90% of imperiled native mussels are found in the Southeast;
* * 200 foreign aquatic nuisance species, such as the zebra mussel and Asian eel, have been introduced into the U.S., and about half of these in the Southeast;
*** 74 of 87 watersheds nationwide considered to be "freshwater hot spots" (areas of concern) are in the Southeast according to a 1998 Nature Conservancy report.
For more information about SARP call Kyla Hastie, USFWS at 404-679-7291.