Parks and recreation sites are now open during regular business hours. All Alabama Power lake offices remain closed. Go here to learn more, including how you can still request permits.

Birmingham boat show making waves

Gilbert Nicholson

Spring is just around the corner, which means people will soon be back out on the water enjoying Alabama’s lakes and rivers.

The Birmingham Boat Show, which runs through Sunday at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC), provides a perfect way to prepare for time on the water, with hundreds of boats, marine accessories and exhibits on boating education and safety.

Alabama Power will be in force at the BJCC with a booth representing Shoreline Management and another featuring Environmental Affairs. 

“We’re trying to educate the public, increasing awareness of our shoreline permitting program, and about environmental stewardship,” said Rhett Hanks, team leader for Alabama Power’s Lake Martin Shoreline Management Office.

Alabama Power representatives will also be promoting the 20th year of Renew Our Rivers, with the first cleanup scheduled for early February. Since its inception in the spring of 2000, more than 117,000 volunteers have collected more than 15.5 million pounds of trash and debris from waterways across the Southeast.  

Scattered over 250,000 square feet in three exhibition halls, the event showcases the latest in boats, motors, trailers and fishing equipment, along with booths featuring guides and outfitters. It was the first public event at the BJCC when it opened in 1972 and now has the title of the state’s oldest and largest boat show. 

Power company representatives are typically asked a boatload of questions during the show, ranging from the routine – such as, what permits are needed for construction to how lake levels will fluctuate this winter – to the more unusual. 

“I’ve had them tell us they have a beaver in their slough and can someone assist me with this?” Hanks said. 

With thousands making their way through the turnstiles, Alabama Power Team Leader Lee Townsend of the Lower Coosa Shoreline Management Office said the boat show is a great way for Alabama Power to interact with people who live, work or play on the water. 

“It’s a perfect opportunity to advertise our Shorelines website and app to a captive audience of people who can practically benefit from them,” he said.

Learn more about the Birmingham Boat Show at For more information about Alabama Power lakes, visit or download the Smart Lakes app for your smart phone. Click here for more information about the 20th year Renew Our Rivers and to see this year’s schedule of cleanups. You can also find the schedule at

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