AABC Fact Sheet
In 2004, the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources began efforts to establish the Alabama Aquatic Biodiversity Center (AABC). The core funding for this program is a $2 million five-year State Wildlife Grant split equally between federal and state funds. Additionally, the Department of Conservation will actively promote partnerships to advance the Center's efforts and provide further funding.
Partnerships with state and federal agencies, non-profit organizations, watershed recovery groups, universities, public utilities and corporations will be sought. Alabama Power Company, Bass Pro Shops and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have committed to partnering with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources on this project.
The mission of AABC is to promote the conservation and restoration of rare freshwater species in Alabama waters and, in turn, restore cleaner water in Alabama's waterways.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 183 lakes and streams in Alabama are considered troubled water bodies. Even though this is far less than other states including Georgia, Tennessee and Mississippi, introducing mollusks into streams and waterways will promote water-quality improvements throughout the state.
To restore the mollusk populations in Alabama, the Center will first target Mobile River Basin species because these are the most endangered groups that we have in Alabama. Initially, the Coosa River at the Weiss Lake bypass will be the first targeted waterway.
The Department of Conservation is also assisting in additional outreach efforts in Alabama such as requiring and monitoring sanitation devices on boats to further promote water-quality issues through the Alabama Clean Boating and Clean Vessel Act.
The facilities at the Center include three aquatic buildings with over 7,500 square feet of space under roof, a 4,300-square-foot administration building with office and laboratory space, and approximately 30 surface acres of aquatic ponds.