What Happened in the 2024 Alabama Legislative Session?

Hi friends – it’s been a minute!

The 2024 Alabama Legislative Session has ended, and while we wish we were writing this email with lots of exclamation points, we have a few disappointing – but illuminating – updates.

Unfortunately, the SHOR Act faced stiff opposition from special

ARA member Cole Williams meets with Senator Kirk Hatcher (Montgomery) on Rivers of Alabama Day!

interest groups who were more concerned with the perception of their industries than the right of all Alabamians to know whether the fish they catch are safe to eat. Sadly, some of our state agencies, who are supposed to be protecting the health of Alabamians and our environment, joined their industry buddies, raising weak objections of their own: that the fish consumption advisory signs would be too expensive and updating them would be too time-consuming. It’s disappointing that this small step forward to improve public and environmental health was met with such resistance. We will continue to work with our partners to protect our rivers and the people and wildlife who depend upon them!  

Another bill, designating the Alabama shad as the official state migratory fish of Alabama, was also killed by special interest groups. This bill would have made us the first state in the nation with an official state migratory fish – appropriate, since the Cahaba River alone is home to more fish species than the entire Colorado River basin!

We’re grateful that Representative Mike Shaw (R-Hoover) introduced this bill towards the end of the session and are pleased with the progress it made, passing unanimously out of the House State Government Committee. We will continue to raise awareness of Alabama’s unparalleled aquatic biodiversity and the threats to it both in the legislature and in communities across Alabama!  

We’re pleased that the Alabama Legislature passed a bill that will help homeowners along the Gulf coast and Mobile Bay to use native plants to fight coastal erosion. HB 215, sponsored by Jennifer Fidler (R-Fairhope), will make it easier and less expensive to construct “living shorelines,” that use native plants to fight coastal erosion more sustainably than traditional concrete seawalls. We’re hopeful that the Legislature will expand this program beyond our beautiful coast in the coming years. Representative Fidler’s bill is a great step to ease permitting burdens for homeowners while improving coastal resiliency.

We learned a lot, once again, and we look forward to continue building the relationships and reminding our elected officials that Water is Life and that Alabama’s 132,000 miles of rivers and streams must be protected for all Alabamians.

We’ll be in touch soon with summer and fall plans for ways you can connect to your House Reps and Senators!

–Alabama Rivers Alliance Team


REMINDER FOR THE 2025 LEGISLATIVE SESSION: You can keep up with the latest bills we’re monitoring anytime by clicking here to see the Current Bills section on our new website!