Alabama attorney recognized for work to protect Cahaba River

Sarah Stokes, staff attorney in SELC’s Birmingham office, was named 2015 Cahaba Conservationist of the Year by the Cahaba River Society at their annual meeting in January. The recognition highlights her ongoing work to improve and strengthen stormwater pollution permits throughout the watershed and implement those protections for Alabama’s Cahaba River.

Sarah Stokes, right, with Cahaba River Society Executive Director Beth Stewart.

The Cahaba River is Alabama’s longest remaining stretch of free-flowing river, serves as a primary drinking water source, and is known for its rich biological diversity as it has more fish species per mile than any other river in North America.

Below is an excerpt from remarks made by Beth Stewart, Cahaba River Society’s Executive Director, upon giving Stokes the award.

“Sarah supports our work with the Environmental Protection Agency, Alabama Department of Environmental Management, and local governments to change policies, regulations, and codes. The path to that outcome is very complicated, long term, and has many hurdles. Sarah has helped us find that path and stay on it past setbacks, always finding a new way because of her legal expertise, creativity, and dogged commitment. She researches, keeps up with every opportunity, drafts pages and pages of comments, builds relationships with regulators, and she helps us bring together the Alabama Stormwater Partner groups from across the state to multiply our impact.

“And now we are seeing significant gains as a result, as the state is improving the stormwater permits for Cahaba and Black Warrior cities and counties one by one.”

More News

Years of fierce fighting end with floodplain preserved

With the recent $3 million sale of 547 acres of floodplain property, a 20-year saga over a billion-dollar South Carolina development came to a lo...

Decision to log forest ignores public input and science, threatens trout streams

In a decision announced May 22, the U.S. Forest Service committed to charging ahead with irresponsible plans to log in the headwaters of the Nant...

SELC op-ed: N.C. DOT should look beyond road building to projects that build stronger communities

As the North Carolina Department of Transportation faces multiple challenges made worse by the global health crisis at hand, now is our chance to...

Mega-landfill proposal threatens rural community, historic school

The proposed construction of a massive landfill in rural Cumberland County, Virginia, led SELC lawyers and the University of Virginia Law School’...

Watch Readings from 2020 Reed Writing Award Winners

This year’s winners of the Reed Environmental Writing Award are author Margaret Renkl and journalist Megan Mayhew Bergman. Renkl was recognized f...

Consent order between N.C. DEQ and local polluter would result in another retired power plant

This week, SELC attorneys submitted comments supporting a proposed consent order between the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality a...

More Stories