Your donation helps the Aquarium build environmental awareness in people of all ages and protect more of the region’s streams, rivers and aquatic animals.
and learn more about all of our animals and educational
opportunities. Learn More >>
Our work takes us throughout the Southeast into different rivers and wetlands. Here are a few we are especially passionate about.
The Cumberland River begins in southeastern Kentucky and after flowing almost 700 miles through Kentucky and Tennessee, joins the Ohio River near Paducah. The watershed drains more than 18,000 square miles in Kentucky and Tennessee, a region shaped like a boot. We are helping with the reintroduction of lake sturgeon to the Cumberland River in downtown Nashville.
The Mobile Basin is the largest drainage entering the Gulf of Mexico east of the Mississippi River. Most of Alabama is contained within its 43,000 square mile watershed, along with parts of Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee. The Cahaba River, part of the Mobile Basin, is the longest free-flowing river in Alabama. The Conasauga River, another tributary in Georgia and Tennessee, is one of the most diverse river systems in North America, with over 90 species of fish and 25 species of mussels. We have restored sensitive mussels and snails to the Mobile Basin, as well as conducted genetic studies on endangered fishes.
Before widespread impoundment and other habitat alterations, the Tennessee River was home to the most diverse fish and mussel fauna of any river in North America. It drains 40,000 square miles in seven states, ranging from Appalachian mountain streams to lowland valleys. Because Chattanooga is located in the Tennessee River watershed, we spend a lot of time studying and protecting its unique aquatic animals.