In 2014, Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood was contracted by the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program to develop a comprehensive Management Plan (Plan) for the Fowl River Watershed, a process made possible by funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund. The purpose of this Plan is to protect the chemical, biological and cultural integrity and customary uses of Fowl River and its associated waters and habitats to support healthy populations of fish, shellfish, wildlife, and recreational uses. Completed in April 2016, the 500+ page Plan already has recommended measures being implemented. For example, in September 2016, a volunteer water quality monitoring program was established, and soon a comprehensive study of marsh health in the brackish zone of Fowl River will begin. To learn about the watershed and Plan goals and objectives the MBNEP is pleased to release a Plan summary, The Fowl River Watershed: Charting a Course for Preservation.
For immediate release:
August 2, 2017
Mobile Bay National Estuary Program www.mobilebaynep.com
A draft Weeks Bay Watershed Management Plan is available for public comment through 5 pm Thursday, August 31st.
The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program (MBNEP) is seeking public input to help finalize the Plan. The MBNEP contracted with Thompson Engineering to oversee development of the plan, and identify projects to be considered for funding to improve the quality of the watershed in the face of increased population and business growth in Baldwin County.
This watershed is extremely large: approximately 12 miles wide and 27 miles long. Its headwaters begins in the Golden Triangle area north of I-10 and concludes where Weeks Bay empties into Mobile Bay. It includes the planning jurisdictions of nine municipalities and is home to countless subdivisions and businesses.
The good news is that the Weeks Bay Watershed – and especially Fish River – has been studied by scientists for numerous years. There are even computer simulation models of the watershed that will accurately predict outcomes if a new subdivision is added or changes occur in the way a property is farmed.
The Thompson team took the past research, added very specific current research – and a lot of stakeholder input – and developed a current report card and a forecast of what the watershed might look like in 2040 under different population growth scenarios.
The final step in the process is to obtain public input on the draft Plan. We are doing that in four ways:
- A Stakeholder Work Group with representatives of every type of stakeholder – homeowners, farmers, developers, environmental group leaders, businesses, municipalities, county government, utilities – have worked with the team throughout the process. Many have volunteered to stay on as the Plan moves into the implementation phase.
- A public input workshop will be held on Wednesday, August 16, 2017, from 8:30 – noon in the auditorium in the Baldwin County Central Annex, 22251 Palmer Street, Robertsdale. Because of space limitations and the workshop format, you must preregister by 5 pm Monday, August 14. You can do this with a short email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- A copy of the draft plan is posted online here: http://www.mobilebaynep.com/the_watersheds/weeks_bay_watershed/
- Paper copies of the plan can be reviewed at these locations:
- Weeks Bay Reserve, US 98
- Spanish Fort Public Library, 7361 Spanish Fort Blvd
- Foley Community Department office, 200 N Alston Street
- Fairhope Utilities office, 555 South Section St
- Baldwin County Highway Department, 3rd Floor, Central Annex II, Robertsdale
Please send your comments on the Plan by August 31, 2017 to Mike Eubanks at email@example.com or mail to Mike Eubanks, Thompson Engineering, Inc., 2970 Cottage Hill Road, Suite 190, Mobile, AL 36606.
For more information on our watersheds, go to www.mobilebaynep.com.
July 28, 2017 - The Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council (AGCRC) has announced it is seeking project suggestions for RESTORE Act Spill Impact Component funding (Bucket 3). In addition, the AGCRC announced there would be no limited focus areas for the first round State Expenditure Plan which must be developed to access Spill Impact Component funds.
Qualifying projects must reflect at least one of the following criteria:
- Restoration and protection of the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, and coastal wetlands of the Gulf Coast region
- Mitigation of damage to fish, wildlife, and natural resources
- Implementation of a federally approved marine, coastal, or comprehensive conservation management plan, including fisheries monitoring
- Workforce development and job creation
- Improvements to or on state parks located in coastal areas affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
- Infrastructure projects benefitting the economy or ecological resources, including port infrastructure
- Coastal flood protection and related infrastructure
- Planning assistance
- Promotion of tourism in the Gulf Coast Region, including recreational fishing
- Promotion of the consumption of seafood harvested from the Gulf Coast Region
In an effort to ensure your project suggestion is received in time for consideration by the AGCRC for potential first round funding under the RESTORE Act’s Spill Impact Component (Bucket 3), please enter your project suggestion(s) into the Alabama Coastal Restoration Project Suggestion portal bySeptember 15, 2017. If you have already entered your project suggestion on this website, it is not necessary to re-submit. Go to www.alabamacoastalrestoration.org to enter a new project suggestion or to review project suggestions currently in the portal. For information on the RESTORE Act, go to www.restorealabama.org.
Movers & Shapers, June 2017, Spotlight on Mobile County. a Business Alabama news article
Governor Ivey Announces Christopher Blakenship as Acting Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources
Announcing a short course:
Smart growth and watershed protection: tools for stormwater management
Thursday, June 22, 2017
9:00AM to 11:00AM
Spanish Fort Community Center Multipurpose Room at City Hall
7361 Spanish Fort Blvd., Spanish Fort, Alabama
Increasing land development along the Gulf coast has created concerns about stormwater runoff and resultant flooding and water quality issues in local bays and bayous. Smart growth strategies can offer solutions for local governments and the development community.
We’ll explore alternative patterns of development that include more compact neighborhoods, diversity in land uses, and accompanying stormwater solutions. Site, regional, and watershed scale issues are discussed, along with ordinances, codes, education, and funding recommendations. Many regional examples from the Gulf coast are used to demonstrate better methods of accommodating growth with effective stormwater management. Join us for light breakfast and coffee/tea during this 2-hour lecture and discussion, then carry on with your day feeling inspired to consider innovative smart growth strategies in your field of work that can help create more resilient coastal communities and waterways where we live, work, and play. Whether you are a city planner, engineer, developer, watershed or floodplain manager, elected official, restoration practitioner, coastal resource manager, business or community member – come learn how all of our roles in community stormwater management are connected. Registration is required for this free event.
About the presenter: Christian Wagley is principal of Sustainable Town Concepts, a consulting firm working under the premise that one of the most environmentally-beneficial things we can do is to build healthy places for people. Christian is a certifying agent for the Florida Green Building Coalition and an accredited member of the Congress for the New Urbanism. He works with builders, architects, developers, and communities to create homes, buildings and landscapes that use less energy and water and are beautiful and durable.
Questions? Please contact Michael Shelton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 251-928-9792 or Jacqueline Rose at email@example.com or 251-929-8466.
Please share with others interested in attending. For more information and to register follow the link -https://gulfcoastaltraining.wordpress.com/workshops/smart-growth-and-watershed-protection-tools-for-stormwater-management/.
WASHINGTON – The Environmental Protection Agency announced today that the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program will receive approximately $344,000 in the form of a federal grant appropriated by Congress to conserve and improve working waterfronts and preserve fishing communities, within its 71,500 square mile watershed. Click here to view the full press release.
Did you know the Mobile Bay watershed is one of 28 estuaries designated as an estuary of national significance? The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program has successfully leveraged its EPA funding of $600,000 per year into $20,000,000 of investment in Alabama’s coastal restoration activities. This represents a return on investment of eight dollars for every dollar invested, a level of credibility in the community and across the State as a trusted agency of science based action, and key partner for the State of Alabama in planning for and implementing Deepwater Horizon related restoration activities. Thank you, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for recognizing “a healthy Mobile Bay is vital to the environmental and economic health of America,” and we appreciate the continued support of Congressmen Byrne and other local leaders.
A pilot program is exposing young adults to environmental resources hidden in some of Mobile's most urban communities. By Jason Johnson