ARA + partners support HB14 / SB45, the Safe and Healthy Outdoor Recreation Act!

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  February 6, 2024

CONSERVATION GROUPS ACROSS ALABAMA SUPPORT THE SAFE AND HEALTHY OUTDOOR RECREATION ACT (HB14 / SB45)

MONTGOMERY — Conservation groups across Alabama are working together to ensure anglers are better informed about fish consumption advisories in our rivers, streams, creeks, and bays by supporting HB14 /  SB45, the Safe and Healthy Outdoor Recreation Act (the SHOR Act), introduced to the Alabama Legislature by Representative Craig Lipscomb (R-30) and Senator David Sessions (R-35). 

Alabama’s rivers, lakes, creeks and coastal waters provide endless opportunities for fun, food, and adventure. In order to enjoy Alabama’s abundant waterways safely and to protect the health of anyone who depends on clean water, Alabamians need to know where fish are unsafe to eat. Nearly all of Alabama’s major rivers have a fish consumption advisory, which is a recommendation to limit the consumption of a certain fish species from a specific body of water, due to contaminants.

Coosa Riverkeeper, Conservation Alabama, Mobile Baykeeper and Alabama Rivers Alliance have been working together with other conservation and health partners across the state, representing thousands of Alabamians, in an effort to improve the state’s program to better protect the health and safety of all Alabamians.

HB14 / SB45 (The SHOR Act) will:
  • Codify the existing fish consumption advisory program into law
  • Install advisory signage at all public boat ramps and fishing piers across Alabama
  • Create a blue ribbon panel for community input and feedback
  • Add fish consumption advisory information to fishing licenses

Click here to read the legislation.

“Alabama’s state motto is ‘We Dare to Defend Our Rights’, yet currently, our anglers and their families don’t have the right to know which fish are safe to eat,” Justinn Overton, Coosa Riverkeeper’s Executive Director and Riverkeeper, said. “We believe folks using Alabama’s waterways should have a right to know if the fish they bring home to their families are safe to eat or not. We don’t want to tell people what to do or not to do; but we do want folks to be able to take the information the state publishes, and make whatever decision is best for them and their families.”

The SHOR Act (HB14 / SB45) is introduced in the House by Representative Craig LipsComb (R-30) and in the Senate by Senator David Sessions (R-35). To learn more about this bill, and to see ways to get involved or take action, please click here.

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For additional information, including including chart of fish advisories in Alabama, photographs, full bill text, A Fisher’s Right to Know, and more, please click here.

 

ABOUT THE SAFE AND HEALTHY OUTDOOR RECREATION ACT

The Safe and Healthy Outdoor Recreation Act (HB14 / SB45) is a bipartisan bill supported by conservation groups across Alabama, including Coosa Riverkeeper, Conservation Alabama, Alabama Rivers Alliance and Mobile Baykeeper. To learn more about the bill and what it means for Alabamians, please click here.