Friends of Chewacla Creek

         and the Uphapee Watershed

                  Began meeting in 1999 - Became official in 2001

                                                                  Beautiful Chewacla Creek


                                                                                                        click to enlarge                                                                                        






Dedicated to the restoration, preservation, and enhancement of the water quality and environment of Chewacla Creek and the Uphapee Watershed

     The Alabama Water Use Classification for Chewacla Creek is "Fish and Wildlife". This classification means the water body cannot contain levels of toxicity that will impair aquatic life, produce off-flavors in fish, or decrease aesthetic value. Chewacla Creek is the home of the Fine-lined Pocketbook mussel, Lampsilis altilis, listed as a threatened species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  

     ChewUp members are involved in the following areas:

*Sampling Chewacla Creek and tributaries for pH, alkalinity, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, hardness, and temperature. We also have members certified in bacteria testing and sometimes test for bacteria. We are affiliated with Alabama Water Watch doing something positive for our watersheds for today and tomorrow. Check out AWW at:

*Promoting environmental awareness about changing conditions which could affect the integrity of the creek and watershed.

*Encouraging citizens to report any conditions that may further degrade the water quality/habitat of the creek and watershed.

*Speaking out to alert the appropriate agencies about the degradation of the creek and watershed and the presence of endangered mussels.

*Monitoring watershed conditions at a grass roots level and reporting any irregularities such as excessive sediment, lack of BMP's, and other violations of the law.

*Cleaning up litter at creek crossings annually.

*The ALOA (Auburn, Lee County, Opelika, and Auburn University) Phase II Stormwater Committee.

 What is in storm water? Stormwater is runoff caused by precipitation. Some pollutants found in storm water may include, but are not limited to: gasoline, oil, antifreeze, transmission fluid, and anything else that might leak from a vehicle. Also, nutrients such as phosphorous and nitrogen, bacteria, animal wastes, human wastes from failed septic systems and leaking sewer lines, herbicides, pesticides, heavy metals such as copper, lead, zink, arsenic, chromium, and cadmium. As development increases, storm water increases. Stream banks are impacted. Erosion, pollution, and sedimentation increase.

 More on storm water pollutants:                                          



     The Chewacla Creek Safe Harbor Agreement is an agreement to protect Chewacla Creek. Read it at

     To see the USGS realtime flow charts for Chewacla Creek go to:,00060 


Zack Sprayberry, president of Friends of Chewacla Creek and the Uphapee Watershed,

1543 Crescent Blvd., Auburn, Alabama 36830-2525, 334-821-6133

Mary Lou Smith, founder of Friends of Chewacla Creek and the Uphapee Watershed,

4325 Lee Road 159, Auburn, Alabama 36830, 334-887-5796

Join Friends of Chewacla Creek and the Uphapee Watershed. Together we can make a difference.

Annual membership $10 per person. Enclose your payment and mail to:

Friends of Chewacla Creek and the Uphapee Watershed

4325 Lee Road 159

Auburn, Alabama 36830-8250

From its headwaters north of Spring Villa, Chewacla flows along the 21 mile length of the water course to its confluence with Opintlocco Creek to form the Uphapee Creek, near the Tuskegee National Forest.



                                                                                                                                                                           Mike Ward gives ChewUp members a  tour of his property on Chewacla Creek.                                                            



  Once the creek here was full of fish. The last biological assessment by ADEM was in 1997.

  Auburn has grown a lot in 11 years. Protected mussels were once found here.

  Now it is almost lifeless. Mike's land is just below the sewage treatment plant.                     

  What is in wastewater effluent? Pharmaceuticals, (estrogen, antibiotics), heavy metals, nutrients,

  and other pollutants. More:


                                                                                                       Sediment in a stream on

                                                                                                       the bike path on

                                                                                                       Shell Toomer Parkway.





                                                                                                 Urbanization and sedimentation.


 Cleaning up the creek.


                                                                                                  Martin Marietta Materials quarry







 E. coli Lady, Clara Clothiaux,

 testing on Parkerson Mill Ceek,

 a tributary of Chewacla Creek. 





 Bacteria will be found if it is there.

                                                                                     A patched sinkhole in creek near quarry.

                                                                                      It won't last.



 Cliff Webber and students

Cliff oversees the Safe Harbor Agreement.



Chewacla State Park Lake

full of sediment after rain.

A disgrace to our state park.

 Learn more: Alabama Rivers Alliance at

and Alabama State Parks at