Save our water campaign returns

Save+our+water+campaign+returns

This year, the annual Save Our Water campaign will include more than 20 restaurants and bars joining together in order to help the Black Warrior River. (Photo Courtesy of Charles Scribnor)

Alessandra Delrose

SweetWater Brewing Company, based in Atlanta, Georgia, started the Save Our Water program. By teaming up with the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper to protect the cities water source. Over the years, their market grew throughout the South and started moving its partnerships to different cities.

“That’s where we came in, in 2008, is when we started doing this annual two-month-long program with SweetWater Brewing Company, which is now called Save Our Water,” Charles Scribner, executive director of Black Warrior Riverkeeper, said.

The event began July 4th and will last until Labor Day. At participating restaurants and bars, customers have a chance to donate money toward the cause in return for either writing their name on a paper fish that will be displayed in the establishment, or ?receiving a T-shirt.

“I am really pleased with how much this program has grown,” Scribner said. “Last year, Save Our Water raised $4,000 alone throughout the restaurants and bars in Tuscaloosa, and we are hoping to raise even more than that this year.”

All funds go towards the Black Warrior River Patrol Program, Scribner said. He said the program is used to look for pollution problems throughout the Black Warrior River and Lake Tuscaloosa, which is the city of Tuscaloosa’s drinking water supply.

“With the donations from this program, we at the Black Warrior River Patrol Program then find major pollution problems, photograph them for evidence, take samples of polluting water to a laboratory where they ?analyze it, review government files on various polluters and then look to create practical solutions to those problems,” ?said Scribner.

Throughout the years, this program and the Black Warrior Riverkeeper’s efforts have raised awareness and enthusiasm for protecting the Black Warrior River.

“I just noticed that the amount of not only donations, but also volunteers and corporations that want to get involved with our water has been steadily increasing through the years,” Scribner said. “And so there’s just more people concerned about the conditions of the river, whether it’s for recreations, for wildlife habitat or for public health, such as drinking water.”

This year, 23 locations around Tuscaloosa are involved in the Save Our Water program.

Bill Lloyd, manager at Wilhagan’s Sports Grille, has been involved with this program ever since it started ?in Tuscaloosa.

“We are big proponents of the Black Warrior River, especially since, here in Tuscaloosa, we are right on it, and [it’s] where we get our drinking water from,” Lloyd said.

Lloyd said this program is a great way to make the Tuscaloosa community aware and to really get involved.

“The waterkeeper alliance in general, along with the Black Warrior Riverkeepers, do a great job of taking care of our river, but it’s time that we the people do our part as well,” Lloyd said. “We need to keep people aware of what’s going on, and I believe this ?program does a great job of that.”

Brantley Blow, manager at Innisfree Pub, said their restaurant, which already serves SweetWater products, has been involved with this program for three years. Blow said the program benefits the Black Warrior River, and he loves doing his part.

“The money we raise here differs each year,” Blow said. “Normally we raise from $300 to $400, but one year I remember in particular we raised up ?to $1,000.”

Brandon Wilson, manager at Buffalo Wild Wings, said that his restaurant only recently got involved with this project, but feels like this is too important to not get involved.

“This is important because this is the environment. If no one looks out and protects the environment, then there is nothing that can be done about it,” Wilson said. “We have to take the initiative to preserve and protect our water, and I feel like we need to take any step that we can to do it.”