Public Hearing Notice: Town of Dauphin Island

The Town of Dauphin Island will hold a PUBLIC HEARING on Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 7pm (CST) at the Shelby Building located at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. The purpose of the meeting is to receive comment on the proposed East End Shoreline Restoration Project associated placement of a permanent Mean High Tide Line within the boundaries of the project area. Full details of the project are available online at and a hard copy is available at Town Hall (Mon-Thurs. 7am-5:30pm) for your review and convenience. You may sign up to speak at the beginning of the public hearing. If you wish for your comments to be made part of the minutes, please submit them in writing. Comments may be turned in at the Public Hearing, faxed to Town Hall at (251) 861-2154 or emailed to

Please contact Town Clerk Nannette Davidson at (251) 861-5525 (ext. 225) for additional information.

Posted on 04/07/14 at 08:53 AM Permalink

Upcoming Community Clean Up Event

Posted on 04/07/14 at 02:28 PM Permalink

NOAA announces a search for Program Director for the NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program

NOAA announces a search for a professional to serve as Program Director for the NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program to be based in the Gulf of Mexico.  Interested parties should submit their application materials no later than April 23, 2014.  The full announcement can be found here.

The mission of the NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program, as directed in the RESTORE Act, is to initiate and sustain an integrative, holistic understanding of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem and support, to the maximum extent practicable, restoration efforts and the long-term sustainability of the ecosystem, including its fish stocks, fishing industries, habitat, and wildlife through ecosystem research, observation, monitoring, and technology development. Projects submitted to the program for consideration are anticipated to be multidisciplinary in scope, addressing complex ecosystem questions in support of broad restoration and management needs.

In the fall of 2013, NOAA advertised this position in USA Jobs. The continued development of the Program combined with the continued development of other Deepwater Horizon oil spill-related science and restoration programs has allowed NOAA to better assess and refine the RESTORE Act Science Program and its requirements for the Director position.  As a result, NOAA is amending the position description and recruiting under this alternative announcement.

Posted on 04/07/14 at 08:46 AM Permalink

You’re Invited: Alabama Community Conversations NFWF Foundation

Posted on 03/11/14 at 03:53 PM Permalink

Cleanup Questionnaire

Have you ever helped organize a shoreline cleanup, beach cleanup, or related trash removal activity? If the answer is 'yes', then we want to hear from you. On behalf of a member of the conservation community, Water Words That Work, LLC is surveying our clients and friends about their experience and perspectives on river cleanups, beach cleanups, and related trash-removal activities.

Would you be willing to complete a brief online survey on this topic? This survey will take less than 10 minutes to complete. All replies are anonymous and will be treated confidentially. Please follow the link below:

You can even complete the survey on your mobile phone!

Our client will provide everyone who completes the survey with selected results and an invitation to a webinar where our expert will share "best practices" for organizing successful, year-round cleanup activities through intense (and fun) investigations into your shorelines and community. Five lucky survey participants will win an ocean themed gift.

We'd be grateful if you would pass this message along to any colleague in the conservation community who might be interested.

Kind regards,

Eric Eckl
Water Words That Work LLC
905 West 7th Street
Suite 201
Frederick, MD 21701
Office: 703.829.6732

"Make a splash with your communications"




Posted on 03/10/14 at 11:02 AM Permalink

Kathryn Sullivan confirmed as NOAA administrator

Kathryn Sullivan confirmed as NOAA administrator
Ciaran Clayton,, 202-482-6090

March 6, 2014
Today, the United States Senate confirmed Kathryn D. Sullivan, Ph.D. as under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere. In this capacity, she will serve as the tenth administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the nation's top science agency for climate, oceans, and the atmosphere.

"With her impressive background as a scientist and astronaut and her excellent record of building bridges between diverse environmental stakeholder communities and federal policymakers, Kathy brings a great blend of scientific rigor, team-building skills, and strategic sensibility to the important job of NOAA administrator," said John P. Holdren, assistant to the president and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan was confirmed March 6 as NOAA administrator. (Click image for high resolution photo)
With a budget of $4.7 billion, and more than 12,000 employees in every U.S. state and locations around the world, NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages the nation's coastal and marine resources.

"NOAA provides the environmental intelligence that helps citizens, businesses, and governments make smart choices. Mission first, people always - this is my commitment to the American people and to the NOAA workforce," said Sullivan. "I'm incredibly proud of our people, and it's an honor to be at the helm."

Sullivan assumed the role of acting under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and acting NOAA administrator in February 2013. She had been serving as assistant secretary of commerce for environmental observation and prediction and deputy NOAA administrator, as well as performing the duties as the agency's chief scientist.

"I am excited for Kathy and for the national ocean community. I've known her for more than 20 years starting when she was a senior U.S. Naval Reserve Officer working in science and technology," said retired Navy Vice Admiral Paul Gaffney, president emeritus of Monmouth University and member of the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative. "Kathy knows the science, her heart and being are linked in exploration, and she is no stranger to the realities of working effectively in Washington."

Sullivan's expertise spans the frontiers of space and sea. An accomplished oceanographer, she was appointed NOAA's chief scientist in 1993, where she oversaw a research and technology portfolio that included fisheries biology, climate change, satellite instrumentation and marine biodiversity.

Following her first appointment at NOAA, she served a decade as president and CEO of the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus, Ohio, one of the nation's leading science museums. She was then the inaugural director of the Battelle Center for Mathematics and Science Education Policy in the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at Ohio State University.

Sullivan was one of the first six women selected to join the NASA astronaut corps in 1978 and holds the distinction of being the first American woman to walk in space. She flew on three shuttle missions during her 15-year tenure, including the mission that deployed the Hubble Space Telescope. Sullivan has also served on the National Science Board (2004-2010) and as an oceanographer in the U.S. Navy Reserve (1988-2006).

Sullivan holds a bachelor's degree in earth sciences from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a doctorate in geology from Dalhousie University in Canada.

NOAA's mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and our other social media channels. Visit our news release archive.

Posted on 03/07/14 at 01:43 PM Permalink

Important Notice: Public Hearing Concerning House Bill 386-Shoreline Restoration to Mitigate Erosion


Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Time subject to change. If the meeting time is changed,
an additional email will be sent out.

Alabama State House
11 South Union Street
Montgomery, AL 36130

Meeting room should be on the 4th floor,
but check the monitors downstairs when you arrive
to find the room where the hearing will be held.
HB386 is a bill which was introduced into the Alabama State Legislature on January 30, 2014.  The bill addresses shoreline restoration to mitigate erosion for areas like Dauphin Island due to the ship channel dredging of Mobile Bay and dredging of other inlets.
Representatives from the Town of Dauphin Island and the DIPOA will be speaking about the bill.

If you are unable to attend and have a comment for a representative please submit it to the Town Clerk at or call 251-861-5525.

Posted on 03/06/14 at 09:42 AM Permalink

Top Scientists Join Riverkeeper Effort to Protect Drinking Water from Coal Mines

For Immediate Release 
February 28, 2014

Nelson Brooke, Riverkeeper, Black Warrior Riverkeeper: 205-458-0095,
Eva Dillard, Staff Attorney, Black Warrior Riverkeeper: 205-458-0095,

Eminent Scientists Join Riverkeeper Effort to Prevent Coal Mines Near Birmingham Water Source

Birmingham, Ala. – Black Warrior Riverkeeper has filed public comments in an appeal of the Alabama Surface Mining Commission’s denial of its petition to designate areas near the Birmingham Water Works Board’s Mulberry Fork drinking water intake as lands unsuitable for surface coal mining.  The nonprofit clean water advocacy organization’s effort to ensure clean, safe and affordable drinking water for the Birmingham area recently gained major allies, as three nationally recognized experts on this topic submitted a joint letter in support of Black Warrior Riverkeeper’s appeal.

Dr. Emily S. Bernhardt (Associate Professor, Department of Biology and the Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University) has researched the impact of mountaintop removal and surface mining on freshwater ecosystems of the central Appalachians.  Dr. Margaret A. Palmer (Director, National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center; Professor, Department of Entomology, University of Maryland; Professor, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Center for Environmental Science, University of Maryland)  has also studied the impacts of mountaintop removal, surface mining, and valley fill operations on aquatic ecosystems of the central Appalachians.  Dr. Michael Hendryx (Professor, Applied Health Science, Indiana University; Interim Chair, Department of Health Policy, Management and Leadership, School of Public Health, West Virginia University; Research Director, Institute for Health Policy Research, West Virginia University; Director, West Virginia Rural Health Research Center) is one of the most frequently cited experts regarding coal mining’s effects on community health, having written extensively on this topic in a multitude of peer-reviewed articles.

Relying on numerous peer-reviewed studies, the scientists’ letter states that “the accumulating body of research on this topic demonstrates that surface coal mining leads to severe, persistent and far-reaching degradation of water quality and biodiversity.”  They conclude that, “In short, extensive research conducted in the central Appalachians makes it very clear that there are good reasons to be concerned about the water quality implications of surface coal mines.  Without similar research and evidence to the contrary, the citizens and managers of Alabama would be prudent to assume that the same trends apply.” 

Riverkeeper Nelson Brooke asked the scientists to contribute research and opinion to the record for the petition.  Brooke explained, “These scientists are on the cutting edge of researching coal mining’s negative impacts on water, wildlife, and human health, and they agree without hesitation that coal mining should not take place so close to a major drinking water source.”

Staff Attorney Eva Dillard added, “We hope that these comments by leading scientists will encourage the Alabama Surface Mining Commission to fulfill its critical role in protecting the source of our drinking water and all who rely on it.”

Black Warrior Riverkeeper petitioned the Alabama Surface Mining Commission on September 10, 2012 to designate a 40,300 acre area upstream of the Mulberry Intake as lands unsuitable for coal mining under a provision of the Alabama Surface Mining Control & Reclamation Act, which was specifically enacted to preserve public resources like drinking water.  On October 28, 2013, the Alabama Surface Mining Commission refused to declare any land adjacent to the Mulberry Fork of the Black Warrior River as off limits to coal mining, missing an historic opportunity to protect the drinking water source for 200,000 residents in the greater Birmingham area.

The Birmingham Water Works Board and Black Warrior Riverkeeper each appealed the Alabama Surface Mining Commission’s decision in separate filings on November 26, 2013.  Having now received public comments from Black Warrior Riverkeeper, Drs. Bernhardt, Hendryx and Palmer, and others, the Alabama Surface Mining Commission must rule on the appeal by March 31, 2014.

Drs. Bernhardt, Palmer and Hendryx’s letter:

Black Warrior Riverkeeper’s letter:

Black Warrior Riverkeeper’s mission is to protect and restore the Black Warrior River and its tributaries. We are a citizen-based nonprofit organization advocating for clean water, wildlife habitat, and recreation throughout the Black Warrior River watershed.

Posted on 03/01/14 at 08:26 AM Permalink

Internship Available-Dauphin Island Sea Lab

Two large phosphate spills have occurred from Mississippi Phosphate Corporation (a fertilizer production facility) to the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve’s (NERR) Bangs Lake since 2005.  Following these spills, phosphate concentrations in Bang’s Lake surface waters rose to extremely high concentrations, pH dropped to near 4.5, and large fish kills occurred.  There is some evidence of potential continuous input of phosphate to Bangs Lake from smaller ongoing spills or dry deposition. The fate and persistence of externally loaded phosphate within the system are poorly understood, and the potential biological impacts to the waters of a protected NERR warrant further investigation.

DISL’s Marine Ecosystem Response Lab (Dr. R. Carmichael) seeks up to 2 undergraduate or post BS-level interns to work on a 12-week project starting in May 2014 to sample water and sediments in Grand Bay to define effects of phosphate entry to the Grand Bay ecosystem.  Work will be collaborative and include interns from institutions that are part of the Grand Bay NERR Phosphate Working Group (University of Southern Mississippi/ Gulf Coast Research Lab, University of West Florida, and Dauphin Island Sea Lab/ University of South Alabama), and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.  Work will be a combination of field sampling and lab analyses.

Interested applicants should send a brief letter of interest, current CV, and availability to start to  Review of applications will begin immediately and end when positions are filled.  Internship is paid through the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and requires a minimum of 20 hours per week and at least a 12-week commitment.  Applicants are responsible for securing their own housing and transportation in the Mobile/ Dauphin Island, Alabama area.  Transportation to and housing at field sites, when required, will be provided by project funds.

Visit for more information.

Posted on 02/21/14 at 04:35 PM Permalink

Poster and Essay Contest 2014

Poster and Essay Contest 2014

It is time to begin planning the Alabama PALS annual poster and essay contest. The poster and essay contest is held each year in conjunction with the "Don't Drop It On Alabama" spring clean-up event. The poster contest is for grades K-6 and the essay contest is for grades 7-12. The theme this year will be PICTURE A LITTER-FREE ALABAMA

Each school is to hold their own competition and send only the first place winner from each school to the PALS office for the statewide judging. The entries must be postmarked by Monday, May 5, 2014 and sent to the PALS office at the following address: 340 No. Hull St. Montgomery, AL 36104. Each entry submitted must have the following information listed on the back: Students Name, Students Address, Students Telephone Number, Name of School, Address of School, Telephone of School, Email of School, and County of School. This information is extremely important, as it will allow us to properly notify and recognize each winner. 

The PALS office will notify the winners and/or the county coordinators. Each of the winners will be recognized and presented with $250 for first place in each category and a plaque for second, third, and honorable mention. These awards will be presented at the Annual Governor's Awards Luncheon in November 2014. Please visit ALPALS.ORG for more information.


Posted on 02/19/14 at 11:42 AM Permalink