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The Bayou Bartholomew Alliance was incorporated in October of 1995 as a nonprofit organization. It was Dr. Curtis Merrellís vision and concern for this resource which initiated the formation of a group of concerned citizens, landowners and others who realize the importance of this unique southern stream. Bayou Bartholomew begins its journey northwest of the city of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and flows approximately 359 miles before crossing the Louisiana border on its way to joining the Ouachita River. It is heralded as the longest bayou in the world. Lined in portions with cypress and tupelo swamps and inhabited by alligators and large turtles, visited by wintering waterfowl, containing over one-hundred and seventeen species of fishes, this bayou is truly a wonder of nature. However, the Bayou does have problems which cause its water to be of a lesser quality than what it could be. All of us who live in the Bayouís watershed, of almost one-million acres, probably contribute to the impacts the bayou feels from manís activity. Noticeable activities which lead to some water quality problems or loss of habitats include urban development which removes the trees along the stream bank. This causes bank erosion and increases in stream temperature which leads to stress on aquatic organisms. As we drive through the watershed we often see evidence of dumping of everything from worn out furniture, garbage, pesticide barrels, to other unwanted items. Silviculture and farming activities can also lead to problems for the stream by denuding stream banks or allowing soil erosion to occur. Of course these same kinds of activities can lead to loss of fish and wildlife habitat. All of these concerns and a desire to try to improve the situation led to the establishment of the Bayou Bartholomew Alliance. This non-profit organization has brought together representatives of many different areas of interests including agriculture/forestry, environmental, recreational, industrial and others to preserve water quality, improve the beauty of the Bayou, enhance wildlife and fish habitat and related recreational pursuits, educate the public about the historical and ecological significance of this resource, and to improve overall benefits to landowners adjacent to the Bayou.