Rep. Spencer Bachus of Vestavia Hills has proposed doubling the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge from 3,414 acres to approximately 7,400 acres.
The Cahaba River is home to 69 rare and imperiled aquatic species, and 131 fish species, which is more than any river its size in North America. Despite opposition from the U. S Fish and Wildlife Service against the expansion, Bachus has picked up bipartisan support from Republican chairman of the subcommittee of fisheries, conservation, wildlife and oceans, Rep. Wayne Gilchrest of Maryland and his Democratic counterpart Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey. The refuge is expected to increase an additional 400 aces by the end of this year, resulting from a recent $544,000 Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grant.