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Nate Smith

SouthFirst Bank Adult Lecture Series: “Alabama, the River State”


SYLACAUGA, Ala. – Renowned Champion of Alabama Rivers, Bill Deutsch, will present the SouthFirst Bank Adult Lecture on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at B.B. Comer Memorial Library.

Bill Deutsch, a retired Auburn University aquatic ecologist, has spent the last thirty years exploring and championing Alabama’s rivers. He came to Auburn University from New York in 1985 to study for his doctorate in aquatic ecology, and stayed on to become a member of the staff there.

After retiring in 2013, Dr. Deutsch taught a seven-week “Rivers of Alabama” course to retirees via the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Auburn.  The large, enthusiastic audience who came to learn about the state’s river systems led Deutsch to write his recent book, “Alabama Rivers: A Celebration and a Challenge.”

For the SouthFirst Lecture audience, Deutsch will emphasize the Coosa River Basin and the Sylacauga area. He will share his knowledge, hoping to inspire awareness and appreciation of our abundant water resources.

Deutsch’s presentation will highlight the vital role the state’s waterways have played in Alabama’s history and describe how the rivers formed, flow, and serve as home to unparalleled aquatic biodiversity, much of which is unique to Alabama. He will also talk about how rivers change, how politics influence water policy, and how the public can protect rivers.

Dr. Bill Deutsch is a Research Fellow Emeritus in the Auburn University School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Environments and the co-founder/director emeritus of the Alabama Water Watch program, a community-based water monitoring program. He lives in the woods along Hodnett Creek near Auburn with his wife, Janet.

“You Must Remember This,” the fall Adult Brown Bag Lecture Series, is sponsored by SouthFirst Bank. The Hickory Street Café helps provide refreshments, which begin at 11:00 a.m. The program will begin promptly at noon in the Harry I. Brown Auditorium. For more information, call (256) 249-0961 or visit

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