Water Wars Update – December 14, 2023

Many of you have seen an announcement that an agreement has been reached between Alabama and Georgia regarding the ongoing water wars. Several have asked if the “Water Wars” are over…the short answer is NO!

While the agreement may represent an end to a “battle”, there is another battle still taking place that directly affects the Coosa River Basin and Neely Henry Lake.

A federal judge has recently decided in favor of Georgia in a suit brought by the state of Alabama, Alabama Power, and the cities of Montgomery and Mobile regarding water flow in the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa (ACT) River basin. This extends from the Alabama-Georgia line on Weiss Lake and goes approximately 650 miles south through Montgomery all the way to Mobile Bay, a much greater distance than the Apalachicola-Flint-Chattahoochee (ACF) River basin agreement you may have read about.

The issue is the amount of water being held in north Georgia and what would be available to flow into Alabama and the ACT basin during times of drought and what the environmental and economic impact could be on our communities and state.

There has been no word on “next steps” of this suit by the state of Alabama, APCO or the cities as yet. Stay tuned and we will try and keep you apprised of the developments.

NHLA Community Meeting – October 5, 2023


The October meeting of the Neely Henry Lake Association will be held on Thursday, October 5, 2023 at 6:30 PM. The meeting will be held at the Rainbow City Community Center,(next to the library), Rainbow City, AL.

We are very pleased to have as our guest speaker Dr. Grover Brown from Jacksonville State University. Dr. Brown is in his 3rd year as a biology professor at Jax State and is originally from Cartersville, GA. Dr. Brown will be speaking to us about his research on various turtles on the Coosa and in other parts of the world.

Masters student Abigail Wilkins, a recent Auburn graduate, will also be attending and will share with us some of her experiences working this summer on the Coosa River.

In addition, we will be providing updates on various projects and activities supported by the NHLA.

Please mark your calendars and get set for a most informative presentation…who doesn’t like turtles?!!

Feel free to forward this notice on to your friends and neighbors who may be interested in attending….our meetings are always open to everyone that shares our love for Neely Henry Lake. You may also check out our Facebook page and our website ( for more information about our organization.

There will be light refreshments provided and a drawing for door prizes.

I look forward to seeing you at our meeting!


Dave Tumlin – President

Neely Henry Lake Association

RENEW OUR RIVERS CLEANUP – September 26, 2023

2023 Renew Our Rivers Cleanup Schedule

The 2023 Renew Our Rivers cleanup is set to begin next Tuesday, September 26, 2023.

Daily start-up for Tuesday and Wednesday will be held at Coosa Landing in Gadsden at 9:00 am. You will be able to pick up trash bags, tongs and T-shirts.

Thursday start-up will be held at Rainbow Landing, Rainbow City before 9:00am to pick up supplies, or at Coosa Landing after that time.

Lunch and snacks will be provided each day around 12:00 noon at Coosa Landing.

The main location for trash deposit will be at the Gadsden Amphitheater parking lot, Tuesday thru Saturday, 30th, until noon. NO TRASH ACCEPTED AFTER NOON ON SATURDAY! There will be trash deposit available on Thursday, 28th ONLY, at both Rainbow Landing and Southside Boat dock. Thursday ONLY!

If you have time, gather your friends and family and help to Renew Our River by picking up trash and debris and getting it hauled off!

Thanks for your support.


July 2023 Neely Henry Fish Habitat Project Details


“No experience necessary, we’ll show you how! :)”

Location: River Rocks Landing Campground, Gadsden, Alabama

Build Date: Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Time: 9:00 A.M. CDT


Deployment Date: Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Time: 9:00 A.M. CDT


Contact: Call or text Kelly Stephens at (770) 402-6328 to volunteer so that we know how many volunteers to expect.

Additional Info: We will be building and deploying spider block fish habitat made from plastic buckets, flexible plastic pipe, and bagged concrete. Alabama Power Company (APCO) supplies all materials and boats for deployment. Additionally, APCO has life jackets for use on the boat. Volunteers may want to bring work gloves, sunglasses and drinking water for themselves. Arrangements will be made to allow volunteers to get access through the security gate at the entrance to the campground. If the gate is not open, advise campground personnel that you are there to work on the fish habitat project.



The April meeting of the Neely Henry Lake Association will be held on Thursday, April 6 at 6:30 pm. The meeting will be held at the Rainbow City Community Center.

With the boating season about to begin, we thought it would be a good time to get an update (and a reminder!) on the major safety regulations that cover our lake. Our speaker this month will be Deputy Chief Matt Brooks, ALEA Marine Patrol Division. Matt is a Gadsden native and currently serves over the Operations and Patrol Division. Matt will be providing us an update on any recent rule changes and will stress the key areas of safety we should all be focusing on. In addition, Matt will introduce key members of his team that are serving us locally. We will also be updating you on various projects and concerns regarding Neely Henry Lake.

Mark your calendars and invite your friends and neighbors…all are welcome!
There will be door prizes and light refreshments.

Neely Henry Lake Association Spring Fish Habitat Project

To: Neely Henry Lake Association Members, Friends & Family:

Mark your calendars!!!
The Neely Henry Lake Association spring fish habitat project will be on the mornings of 4/11/23 and 4/18/23. Our base of operations will be River Rocks Landing Campground in Gadsden. We will build spider blocks on 4/11 and deploy them on 4/18. We will communicate the exact time of day as soon as it is locked down. As usual, Alabama Power Company will supply all materials and boats.

If you wish to volunteer for this worthwhile project, text or call Kelly Stephens at 770-402-6328.

Chemical Contaminants – Important!

For those of you that were not able to attend our November Members meeting, attached is an update on recent negative stories about the Coosa River and Neely Henry Lake. Take a minute to read. Hopefully, it will address any concerns that you may have.

Many of our members and the general public have contacted me and other NHLA board members expressing concern about the recent articles regarding environmental issues on the Coosa River generally and Neely Henry Lake specifically. Hopefully, this update will provide some perspective.

PFAS chemical contamination…These substances, found in waterways across America, are indeed a cause for concern and have been known to be in our waterways for many, many years. As more info has become available and testing has improved, the EPA, working with various state agencies, has been active over the past years to identify affected locations and to take actions to address the issue.

On Neely Henry Lake, once the issue was identified, Gadsden Water Works installed charcoal filters in an attempt to meet EPA standards. Recently, the EPA tightened its standards which caused a huge decrease in the Health Standards down to 0.004 parts per trillion for PFAS and 0.02 for PFOS. Actions are being taken to address the issue here on NH Lake. Gadsden Water Works recently announced that they are going to install a Reverse Osmosis facility which should reduce the PFAS percentage in the drinking water. By the way, it will be the largest of its kind in Alabama.

The change in standards (like changing the rules in the middle of the game) and subsequent readings caused some very negative headlines and media coverage for NH Lake. In going over the available data, it appears that NH Lake, identified as having “the highest concentration of PFAS, PFOS, etc. in Alabama” is not an accurate statement. The reality is that we don’t know the test results from other lakes on the Coosa River because NH Lake was the only lake sampled! Weiss Lake, above NH Lake and closer to the source of contamination, would logically have a higher result, but it wasn’t sampled. Likewise, lakes below NH Lake were not sampled either, so we don’t have any empirical data to compare in support of the “headlines”.

What we do know for a fact is the cause of the PFAS contaminants being in our lakes, to begin with. And that should be our collective focus. We have known for years that manufacturing in north Georgia and the resulting PFAS chemical discharge into streams and rivers is the cause. In essence, all lakes on the Coosa have been the recipients of PFAS pollution, of which we had nothing to do with!

To that end, Gadsden Water Works filed a lawsuit to stop the flow into the Coosa, and NH Lake, and a settlement were recently reached. Although terms are confidential, what we do know is that Gadsden will be building a state-of-the-art, Reverse Osmosis treatment facility at no cost to Gadsden, according to a news release. The largest of its kind in Alabama.

Endangered River…Another article declared the Coosa River as the 5th most endangered river in America. That’s an eye-catching statement, but based on our research, there is no specific scientific data or testing to support the claim. The focus of the story was not PFAS related, but with environmental issues associated with nutrient loading, which can negatively impact water quality and is an unfortunate but very common occurrence due to changing environmental conditions. A lot of generalities. The “entry” of the Coosa River was more like an essay contest, with the “best” essays being rated upon storyline, grammar, etc., and then rated 1 through 10!

We are not downplaying the importance of keeping our waterways clean and healthy…we do have challenges, absolutely! Most importantly, we should ALL be pulling together based upon the goal of the NHLA to “Preserve, Protect and Improve life on the Coosa”.

We will continue to monitor the issues and will try to keep you all informed with the facts as they are available. Please consult our website ( for updates and follow us on our Facebook page for the latest.

Dave Tumlin, Pres., Neely Henry Lake Association

November NHLA Members Meeting

To: Neely Henry Lake Association Members & Community:

The Neely Henry Lake Association will have its next meeting on Thursday, Nov 3, 2022, at 6:30 pm at the Rainbow City Community Center. Please join us as we welcome our guest speaker, Southside Mayor Dana Snyder. Mayor Snyder will provide information on Southside’s new marina and other plans relative to activities in the community.

We will also be sharing the latest on a number of NHLA projects and other items related to Neely Henry Lake. There will be refreshments and door prizes. As always, the public is invited… so, invite your friends and neighbors!

For more information, please use the Contact Us form.

Fish Habitat Build 2022

To: Neely Henry Lake Association Members & Volunteers:

NHLA is pleased to announce the building and deployment of artificial fish habitats for Neely Henry Lake and the Coosa River. These structures play a huge role in fish production and conservation. (View The Event Flyer)

We Need Your Help!

As of today, NHLA Members and Volunteers will meet at Greensport Marina in Ashville to build “Spider Block” fish habitats on Tuesday, October 11th, 2022. Then, we will load the new structures onto boats and deploy them on Thursday, October 20th, 2022.

Anyone interested in lending a hand in this important fish conservation effort is encouraged to attend. No Experience Necessary! So, whether you’re a NHLA Member or just someone who wants to get involved, your participation is greatly needed and appreciated.

For more information, please contact Kelly Stephens at (770) 402-6328 or use the Contact Us form.

Renew Our Rivers 2022

To: Neely Henry Lake Association Members:

Just a reminder that the annual “Renew our Rivers” clean-up event for Neely Henry Lake is scheduled for the week of September 26th. The following is a schedule of activities:

  1. The clean-up will begin at 9:00 am Tuesday, September 27th. The boats will launch from “Coosa Landing”.
  2. The clean-up will continue on Wednesday, September 28th. The clean-up will begin at 9:00 am and boats will again launch from “Coosa Landing”.
  3. The clean-up will conclude with a half-day clean-up Thursday, September 29th. The boats will launch from the Rainbow City and Southside boat launches at 9:00 am.

NHLA members that plan to participate in “Renew our Rivers” (by cleaning up any area of Neely Henry Lake) can pick up “Renew our Rivers” T-shirts and clean-up supplies Tuesday and Wednesday at Coosa Landing from 9:00 am until 2:00 pm.