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Help Us Protect the Adventure!

What is a watershed and why are they important?

A watershed is the area of land that water flows across or under on its way to a stream, creek, river or lake. Watersheds are the source of all the water we use. Water enters the watershed as rain or other precipitation and then soaks into the ground to replenish aquifers and gathers in ponds and creeks that feed larger streams and rivers. A healthy watershed is like a sponge, absorbing, storing, and slowly releasing water.

Where is the Choccolocco Watershed?

The Choccolocco Creek Watershed is located in East Alabama between Birmingham and Atlanta, and is one of the largest tributaries in the Coosa River drainage system.  Spanning four counties (Cleburne, Calhoun, Talladega, and Clay), the watershed covers more than 246,000 acres and drains approximately 376 square miles of land.  The headwaters originate in the Talladega National Forest at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and the creek flows southwesterly to its point of confluence with Lake Logan Martin.  

The general land use of the Choccolocco Watershed area consists of forest, row crop, pasture, and urban lands. Forestland and row crop are by far the most predominant lands that drain into Choccolocco Creek, however over one third of urban land drains directly into Choccolocco Creek.

The Choccolocco Creek Watershed area includes a system of seven dams and reservoirs that were created to reduce the effects of flooding and conserve water for beneficial public uses.  This system of dams and reservoirs has been credited with boosting sustained economic and agricultural development within the downstream flood zone, their original construction in the 1960’s and 1970’s.  These reservoirs also provide many recreational benefits to the Choccolocco Creek Watershed area.  The dams require a yearly visual inspection and five-year operations and maintenance inspections and surveys.

Choccolocco Creek Watershed Dams:

  • Site 2 – Greenleaf
  • Site 3 – Jordan
  • Site 6 – White Plains
  • Site 7- Sweetwater
  • Site 9 – Cobb
  • Site 11 – Hillabee
  • Site 24 – High Rock  

What can I do to help take care of my watershed?

Watersheds are simply areas of land, therefore you take care of your watershed by being a good steward of the land resources. You can also participate in cleanup days and other Choccolocco Creek Watershed events by visiting our events page!

Choccolocco Creek USGS Information

  • Streamflow: 198 ft³/s
  • Gage height: 17.79 ft
Streamflow GraphGage height Graph

Our goal is to provide educational opportunities that promote awareness, appreciation, knowledge, and stewardship of our water resources.

The Choccolocco Creek Watershed hosts rain barrel & rain garden workshops, and has partnered with many area organizations to sponsor outdoor education activities in the Choccolocco Watershed. These area events include Get Outdoors Day, Classroom in the Forest, Worlds of Work, and Earth Day.

The Choccolocco Creek Watershed sponsors creek clean-up days each year at several locations in the watershed. Every year we remove thousands of glass bottles, plastic, styrofoam and other debris from the creek and surrounding riparian corridor.

Our office offers services and publications to assist with education and outreach efforts.  These services include field days and classroom presentations about the watersheds and water pollution using the Enviroscape model, Learning through Legacy materials, and Beetles.