Get to know Alabama Extension: Fish and Water

Photo from the Alabama Cooperative Extension

AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. – The Alabama Cooperative Extension System has the privilege of assisting Alabamians through a range of topics from agriculture to home life. The eight topics highlighted on the Extension website provide readily available, research-based information to farmers, families, businesspeople and gardeners across the state.

The fish and water section of the website is a one-stop-shop for information from Alabama’s experts about water—and everything that lives there. Alabama Extension specialists and associate professors Rusty Wright and P.J. Waters are two of these experts researching the diverse lifeforms that inhabit the state’s various bodies of water.

What is Fish and Water?

“The fish and water section of the website is the primary Extension source housing the information needed to support the activities of the Aquatic Resources PPT,” Wright said.

With publications, videos and other digital resources, the aquatic resources team’s research covers a multitude of related topics. Some of these topics include: fisheries, aquaculture, watershed and coastal management.

“When we produce Extension programming that touches on water, we potentially impact millions of lives and sustainability of the natural environment,” Wright said.

We Need It

No matter where you live in Alabama, water impacts your daily life.

“Water is a vital component to our ability to thrive as people,” Wright said. “We use water for food production, power generation, navigation, recreation, drinking and other industrial uses.”

Wright’s favorite part of working with aquatic resources is providing solutions to problems. He and his colleagues are able to work one-on-one with clients to help them discover a solution.

“If it is wet, we likely have expertise or can find the expertise quickly,” Wright said.

Waves of the Water

Unlike Wright, Waters primarily focuses on the marine and estuary life. Waters and his partners focus on estuarine species including finfish and shellfish.

While these species mainly reside at the beach, the way the watershed is set up, nearly two-thirds of Alabama’s waterways drain to Mobile Bay. This means every Alabamian plays a role in maintaining its health.

“If you live, work or play in Alabama, odds are you have a daily impact on the bay and surrounding areas,” Waters said.

Fish and water personnel offer several programming options where stakeholders can directly engage with the natural world around them.

“I enjoy facilitating hands-on interactions between people and their environment,” Waters said.

The aquatic resources team continues to connect Alabamians back to their environment through interactive programming, research and community. No matter the body of water, the Alabama Extension Fish and Water team has an expert equipped.

More Information

For more information about Fish and Water, visit