Dauphin Island has been prioritized as a Globally Important Bird Area

May 28, 2015

Contact: Suzanne Langley, Executive Director, 205-719-3678

Dauphin Island & Eufaula NWR Prioritized as Globally Significant Important Bird Areas

Birmingham, AL – The U.S. Important Bird Area (IBA) Committee has prioritized two sites in Alabama as globally significant for birds of conservation concern documented in reliable numbers at these locations.  Dauphin Island and Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) are considered sites of global significance because both locations provide essential habitat for birds classified as critical, endangered, vulnerable or near-threatened.

Bird species of global conservation concern at these Alabama sites include:
• Dauphin Island: Semipalmated Sandpiper, Piping Plover
• Eufaula NWR: Rusty Blackbird

Important Bird Areas provide essential habitat for one or more species of breeding, wintering or migrating birds.  As the U. S. Partner for Birdlife International, National Audubon Society identifies and works to conserve a network of IBAs throughout the U.S.  This network of sites is comprised of state-level IBAs prioritized as continentally or globally significant by the U. S. IBA Committee, a panel of nationally recognized bird experts.

With the announcement changing Dauphin Island and Eufaula NWR from state-level to global IBAs, the number of globally significant bird areas in Alabama grows to six including: Conecuh National Forest, Talladega National Forest (Okmulgee District) and Talladega National Forest (Shoal Creek/Talladega District) all for providing essential habitat for the Red-cockaded Woodpecker, an endangered species; and, Wheeler National Refuge for Rusty Blackbird habitat. Both Dauphin Island and Eufaula NWR were among the 12 state-level IBAs.

The Important Bird Areas Program, coordinated by Birdlife International, relies on local stewardship and focuses on engaging individuals, private landowners, local communities, businesses, partner organizations and government agencies in site conservation.

Birmingham Audubon is a staffed, urban chapter of National Audubon Society representing members and supporting conservation and recreational programs in seven central Alabama counties in addition to working with Alabama Audubon chapters on bird and habitat conservation projects throughout Alabama.  Birmingham Audubon and Mobile Bay Audubon coordinate the Audubon Coastal Bird Survey in Mobile and Baldwin Counties.

Posted on 05/29/15 at 09:09 AM Permalink

Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council releases Center of Excellence Competitive Process, Proposals

Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council releases Center of Excellence Competitive Process, Solicitation for Proposals

May 13, 2015 – Following a 45-day public comment period, the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council (AGCRC) has released its Center of Excellence Research Grants Program Competitive Process and related Solicitation for Proposals.  Click here to view the released document.

Posted on 05/13/15 at 04:05 PM Permalink

Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council soliciting proposals for Center of Excellence Research Grants

May 13, 2015 - The Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council (AGCRC) is now soliciting proposals from non-governmental entities and consortia, including public and private institutions of higher learning, in the Gulf Coast Region to serve as Alabama’s Center of Excellence.  The solicitation period will be open for over 45 days with the deadline set for June 30, 2015 at 4:00 p.m.

Click here to view the Solicitation for Proposals.

Posted on 05/13/15 at 03:38 PM Permalink

RFQ Bon Secour Watershed Management Plan

The MBNEP has released an RFQ for the Bon Secour Watershed Management Plan. You can review the RFQ in our Library of Documents or download the document by clicking here

Posted on 05/01/15 at 08:48 AM Permalink

RFP for SAV Habitat Mapping Released

The NEP has released an RFP for Benthic Habitat/SAV Mapping. All interested parties should review the request in our Library of Documents or download the RFP by clicking here. Deadline for submission is May 28th at 4:00 p.m. Anticipated contract start date is June 15th. 

Posted on 04/28/15 at 02:22 PM Permalink

Current Connection Spring issue is now available

Posted on 04/22/15 at 03:03 PM Permalink

Mobile Bay NEP is a Gulf Guardian Award 1st Place Winner

Posted on 04/20/15 at 02:58 PM Permalink

Certified Stormwater Inspector Training

The National Stormwater Center is offering Certified Stormwater Inspector (municipal) training in Birmingham, AL on June 11-12, 2015.

Designed specifically for municipal personnel our course offers training and certification to demonstrate, for the record, that inspectors are qualified.

Inspectors who take our course learn:

   - how to inspect construction, commercial, and industrial, and municipal activities
   - what to inspect
   - the limits of their authority
   - appropriate demeanor
   - appropriate discretion

They also learn about the Clean Water Act, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, the six Minimum Control Measures, and how to better implement and support their MS4 stormwater program.

Graduates of the Certified Stormwater Inspector course receive certification for 5 years and continuing education units, and ongoing, unlimited support of the National Stormwater Center.  All of our instructors have stormwater enforcement experience at the Federal or State level.

Please download the announcement with course details and registration information.  For your convenience, an announcement is attached.  You may call Michele at 1-888-397-9414, email info@npdes.com or visit our website at http://www.npdes.com.  Registration is available on our website for all classes.

Please click here for more information.

Posted on 04/13/15 at 12:44 PM Permalink

Leadership Class Explores Environmental Practices

  Leadership Class Explores Environmental Practices  I  April Session Held in Daphne and Spanish Fort

Daphne, Ala  -- The Leadership Baldwin County class convened this week at Daphne’s Waterfront Park to discuss environmental issues. The day included a tour of the Daphne wastewater treatment center, and Algae Systems, a private company that produces renewable fuels and fertilizer from wastewater and atmospheric carbon dioxide. After lunch at May Day Park the group toured the Joe’s Branch Restoration Project in Spanish Fort. The project is a cooperative effort of the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program, Alabama Department of Environmental Management, Alabama Department of Transportation cities of Spanish Fort and Daphne and Westminster Village undertaken to restore the stream using a cutting-edge technology called Regenerative Step Pool Storm Conveyance.

“Today was a fascinating day,” said Program Director Cindy Wilson, PhD. “I think everyone learned a lot about things being done with water and wastewater to enhance our sustainable practices both in Daphne and throughout the county.” The April session is one of eight that are planned and led by a volunteer steering committee of Leadership Baldwin alumnae, under the direction of Wilson, who is Director of the University of South Alabama Baldwin County (USABC).

Primary planner for the day was steering committee member Brad Pitt of Riviera Utilities. “This was an opportunity for the class to see some of the innovative projects and technologies in use around the county,” Pitt said. “They got to see the whole spectrum, from the storm water issues at Joe’s Branch to the treatment facilities technologies this morning.”

The group began meeting monthly in October and will graduate in May. Sessions are held at various locations around the county to explore topics including arts & culture, healthcare, education, local and state government, and economic development. The monthly session topics are designed to give class members an opportunity to learn more about topics that are relevant county-wide, but may not be a part of their everyday work environment.

Leadership Baldwin County was established in 1989 and is sponsored by USABC and Baldwin County United. Program details are at http://www.leadershipbaldwincounty.com where online applications are now available for the 2015-16 class.

For more information contact:
Dr. Cindy Wilson, cwilson@usouthal.edu, 251-928-8133

Wade Burcham, who worked with Thompson Engineering on the project, gave and overview of the Joe’s Branch restoration effort to the Leadership Baldwin class at the April session, which explored a variety of environmental topics. (Photo courtesy of Leadership Baldwin)

Posted on 04/13/15 at 09:59 AM Permalink

FDA position available on Dauphin Island

U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
Office of Food Safety
Division of Seafood Science and Technology
Gulf Coast Seafood Laboratory
Dauphin Island, AL 36528

Duties and Responsibilities
The incumbent works as a research chemist performing laboratory and field research addressing chemical contaminants in seafood at the Gulf Coast Seafood Laboratory (GCSL), Dauphin Island, AL. GCSL is a headquarters division of the Office of Food Safety.
The incumbent will plan, develop, and conduct highly specialized research addressing biotoxins and other chemical contaminants that may impact the safety of seafood and/or harvest locations. In this capacity, the incumbent will perform studies to examine the bioaccumulation, tissue distribution, metabolism, and elimination of natural and anthropogenic chemical contaminants in fish and shellfish, with the ultimate goal of developing and validating efficient methods for their detection in seafood. Isolation and identification of metabolites will focus on those of toxicological significance. Research will identify biomarkers of exposure and toxicity in biological matrices. The incumbent will also conduct studies to identify and characterize novel toxins and their sources. Screening and confirmatory analytical methods will be designed for practical use by field laboratories in monitoring and surveillance programs, and for emergency response. Research will support FDA regulatory activities as they apply to food safety, including new or revised guidance or regulatory limits for chemical contaminants in seafood.

The incumbent must be knowledgeable and skilled in bioanalytical chemistry, biochemistry, and/or environmental chemistry and toxicology, including knowledge of basic chemical principles, theories, and practices relevant to analytical methods development/validation. The incumbent must have extensive experience in advanced separation and analytical instrumentation, including state-of-art chromatography and mass spectrometry systems, as well as proficiency in instrument-specific data acquisition and analysis software.

Scope of Work
The incumbent will perform or assist in research in the following areas relating to seafood safety:
1) Residue depletion and metabolism studies, and/or metabolomic/proteomic studies, to identify biomarkers of exposure, total residues, and toxicity of biotoxins and other chemical contaminants in seafood.
2) Development and assessment of rapid screening (including in vitro toxicity tests) and confirmatory analytical methods (e.g., LC-MS, GC-MS) for identifying and quantifying algal toxins, and other chemical contaminants/toxicants in seafood. Participate in single- and multi-laboratory validation efforts for chemical contaminants in seafood.
3) Structural elucidation and characterization of novel compounds of food safety concern in seafood.
4) Pharmacokinetic/toxicokinetic studies of chemical contaminants in fish and shellfish as they apply to seafood safety.
5) Large scale isolation of toxins from algae and/or aquatic food species for the production of reference standards and study materials.

Minimal qualifications are a Ph.D. degree in analytical chemistry, biochemistry, environmental chemistry and toxicology, or related field. Preference would be given to applicants with experience and skills in
aquatic animal research, pharmacokinetics and metabolism studies, toxicological testing systems, risk assessment, and in methods development/validation for chemical contaminants in seafood or other
biological matrices.

Salary range approximately $70-100k, commensurate with qualifications and experience.

For further information, please contact:
Steven M. Plakas, Ph.D.
Chief, Chemical Hazards Science Branch
Gulf Coast Seafood Laboratory
P.O. Box 158, 1 Iberville Drive
Dauphin Island, AL 36528
Tel: 251-406-8143
Email: Steven.Plakas@fda.hhs.gov

Posted on 03/27/15 at 09:22 AM Permalink