The Mobile Basin extends across four states (Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee) and drains approximately 110,000 km2 before emptying into the Gulf of Mexico at Mobile Bay. The Mobile River has historically been an important river for navigation in the southeastern USA. Throughout its course it drains ten major physiogeographic regions and due to this diversity of physiogeography, also harbors one of the most diverse aquatic faunal assemblages in the world. The Mobile Basin contains 65 crayfish, 75 mussel, 236 fish, 20 turtle, and historically 118 snail species with several species being listed as threatened or endangered. Thus, the Mobile Basin is one of the most diverse rivers in North America.
While much of the previous socio-ecological research in the past has focused on ecosystem functions using remotely sensed data (e.g., production), little work has identified the importance of biodiversity to the social system. We will be examining the perceptions of people living in the Mobile Basin to assess whether or not they identify with the aquatic biodiversity of the region and if they think biodiversity is changing. These social data will be directly linked back to ecological data collected in the region and models of anticipated biodiversity changes.