Important Notice: Public Hearing Concerning House Bill 386-Shoreline Restoration to Mitigate Erosion
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 251-861-5525.
For Immediate Release
February 28, 2014
Nelson Brooke, Riverkeeper, Black Warrior Riverkeeper: 205-458-0095, email@example.com
Eva Dillard, Staff Attorney, Black Warrior Riverkeeper: 205-458-0095, firstname.lastname@example.org
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: http://www.blackwarriorriver.org/pdf/Bernhardt.et.al.to.ASMC.2.19.14.pdf
Black Warrior Riverkeeper’s letter: http://www.blackwarriorriver.org/pdf/BWRk.LUM.Appeal.Comments.pdf
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.
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 email@example.com. 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 disl.org for more information.
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.
GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR CONTEST!
2014 "Don't Drop It On Alabama" Statewide Spring Cleanup
All materials and supplies are furnished to all statewide groups by Alabama PALS. For more information call (334) 263-7737 or visit ALPALS.ORG.
Begin now getting your county, city, school, church group or other groups ready to Give Alabama a 2014 Spring Cleaning!
Similar to the Adopt A Mile Program, the Alabama Adopt A Stream Program is designed to eliminate, control and maintain litter at stream crossings in Alabama. Each participating group pledges a two-year commitment to clean and maintain a chosen stream crossing. Signs are printed and provided by Alabama PALS and ALDOT erects the signs if the chosen stream crossing is on a US or Alabama roadway. If the stream crossing is on a county road, the signs must be erected by the respective county. There are currently over 250 groups participating in the Alabama Adopt A Stream Program. This valuable program assists in cleaning and maintaining our most valuable water resources, as well as being a positive factor in controlling debris in stormwater runoff. Click here for the Adopt-A-Stream Application.
Since 1988, Alabama PALS has partnered with the Alabama Department of Transportation to coordinate the Alabama Adopt A Mile Program. Over 1,900 miles of Alabama roadways are being cleaned and maintained by volunteers in every corner of Alabama. This statewide program is truly a testament to the saying "We Are Making A Difference."
Adopt A Mile signs with the participating group name are provided through ALDOT, as well as trash bags for each cleanup. All applications and forms are sent to the PALS office for processing. Online applications can be filled out by going to ALPALS.ORG. Upon completion of all paperwork, PALS print the Adopt A Mile signs and coordinates the erection of signs through the respective ALDSOT District office. If the sign is to be erected on a State of US Highway, ALDOT will erect eh sign for the adoptee. If the mile is on a county road or highway, ALDOT provides the sign, but the erecting of the sign is the responsibiity of the respective county.
All signs, safety vests, bags and posts are provided at no cost to each adoptee.
The participation in this and other volunteer programs save the taxpayers of Alabama millions of dollars each year in cleanup costs.
If you would like to join Adopt-A-Mile, you can read more about it, and fill out the online application. If you prefer a written application, please call Alabama PALS at 1-800-ALAPALS.
You can fill in the online application, then print and fax or mail the application to
340 North Hull Street
Montgomery, AL 36104
In State Watts Line (800) ALAPALS
Fax Line (334) 832-9400
The DMR is recruiting for a project coordinator for the Office of Restoration and Resiliency. You can view the complete requirements by click here or visiting their website, http://www.dmr.ms.gov/index.php/dmr-information/human-resources
Background: The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program (MBNEP) promotes wise stewardship of water quality and living resources of Mobile Bay and the Mobile-Tensaw Delta in part by partnering with business leaders, government officials, and resource management agencies to improve watershed management. This position will play a key role in the development, implementation, and oversight of habitat restoration projects within the Mobile Bay watershed. The successful candidate will have a passion for environmental sustainability issues.
Qualifications: Bachelor’s Degree in biology, geology, geography, environmental science, natural resource, coastal environmental management, wetland ecology or related field and minimum three years of experience in watershed conservation or related field with demonstrated success; ability to communicate effectively (written, verbal and through public speaking and presentation); experience writing technical reports; strong project management and problem solving skills; ability to adapt to changing needs; technical/computer proficiency; knowledge of regulatory and permitting requirements for environmental work in Alabama. GIS software proficiency and a strong understanding of physical processes related to watershed function are desired.
Closing Date: February 28, 2014. A Dauphin Island Sea Lab employment application may be downloaded from the DISL website (http://www.disl.org) or requested by phone, fax, or email. Return application along with cover letter and resume to: Ms. Roberta Arena Swann, Director, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program/Dauphin Island Sea Lab is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. DISL does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin, or disability.
The full job announcement can be viewed by clicking here. CLOSED
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
The Alabama Master Naturalist (AMN) program is a statewide program whose goal is to help promote awareness, understanding, and respect of Alabama’s natural world among Alabama’s citizens and visitors. To help achieve that goal, the AMN program works to develop a statewide corps of well-informed volunteers providing education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities. There has not an active AMN program in coastal Alabama, until now. Several environmental organizations, including the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, have partnered to begin AMN: Coastal Alabama.
The first of eight sessions will take place at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab on Tuesday, February 25, from 9am to 4pm. Titled “Introduction to the AMN Program and Exploring Alabama’s Cultural Landscape,” the workshop will focus on the diverse cultures of prehistoric and historic populations who shaped Alabama and its culture. The day will be spent learning from experts as well as touring cultural sites on Dauphin Island. The cost is $35.00 and lunch is included. The deadline to register is February 18.
For more information about the AMN Program and to register for this session, visit http://www.aces.edu/natural-resources/amn/index.php or contact Doyle Keasal at 334/844-6398 or email email@example.com.
The AMN Program is sponsored by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES) through Alabama A&M and Auburn Universities, in cooperation with partners Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences; Alabama State Parks; Natural Resources Conservation Service; Dauphin Island Sea Lab; Alabama Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries; ADCNR State Lands Division; and Discovering Alabama.