Earlier this year, we challenged those of you who care about the health of our waters to no longer accept the status quo and be ready to take action. Today, we are asking you to answer that challenge.
For generations, fishing has been an essential part of life along the Gulf Coast. It’s why we settled here in the first place. From the Mississippian Era to today, fishing our waters has given those who live in coastal Alabama much sustenance and many memories. Days that begin with early morning trips to the water and end that evening with the family gathering around as fresh a dinner as you could ever have. Days like these have been the way of life for many in the region.
In coastal Alabama, fishing is not just a pastime or a source of sustenance, it is a part of who we are. However, over many years, our waters and fish have been changed by pollution. In fact, 217 advisories recommend limiting fish consumption in various water bodies across Alabama!
The state’s fish consumption advisory program is at the heart of The SHOR Act, which was introduced with bipartisan support, and passed both the House and Senate in 2023 but failed to reach the governor’s desk. The SHOR Act would codify this program, requiring it to take place each year.
The bill, if signed into law, would also create a Blue Ribbon Fish Consumption Advisory Panel to meet annually to continue to improve the program for the health and safety of all Alabamians. Groups like Mobile Baykeeper, Coosa Riverkeeper, Alabama Rivers Alliance, Conservation Alabama and Waterkeepers Alabama feel that there are other areas in which this program could be improved, such as more frequent testing of the fish and expanding sampling for PFAS/PFOS.