An RFQ for the Watershed Management Plan for Bayou La Batre has been posted. Click here to download the RFQ. You can also review the RFQ in our Library of Documents under Request for Proposals. You can download the accompanying document Expected Watershed Plan Components here or from our Library of Documents under Watershed Management Plans.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mobile Bay National Estuary Program
February 5th, 2015
PRESIDENT’S FISCAL YEAR 2016 BUDGET RENEWS SUPPORT FOR NATIONAL ESTUARY PROGRAMS
President Obama’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 budget request was released earlier this week and strongly renews support for the National Estuary Program (NEP), directly requesting significant funds for each NEP. The language in the budget is highly complementary of the NEP’s work throughout the country and specifically gives recognition to the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program.
The National Estuary Program/Coastal Waterways Programs works to restore the physical, chemical, and biological integrity of estuaries of national significance and coastal watersheds by protecting and restoring water quality, habitat, and living resources. The water quality and ecological integrity of estuarine and coastal areas is critical to the economic vitality of the United States. In FY 2016, the EPA will provide $16.8 million in Clean Water Act Section 320 grants for the 28 National Estuary Programs ($600,000 per NEP). This funding continues the EPA support for implementation of the NEP Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plans.
The Mobile Bay NEP recently completed a one million dollar project addressing serious erosion and sedimentation problems for Joe's Branch of the D'Olive Creek watershed. This project used funds from the State of Alabama, EPA Section 319 funds as well as EPA Section 320 NEP and local funds. The project was widely supported locally and has successfully addressed the degradation of this waterbody. This is one example of the type of projects that will be accomplished using the FY 2016 requested funds.
Why should YOU be involved? Why is YOUR participation important? We've answered your questions. Check out our latest Fowl River-Planning for the Future video.
Join us on February 24th or the 26th for a Community Choices Workshop regarding the future of Fowl River. To learn more about these workshops click here.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 14, 2015
WASHINGTON -- Similar to previous years, in 2013, most of the toxic chemical waste managed at industrial facilities in the U.S. was not released into the environment, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) annual Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) report. The report, published today, shows that approximately 22 billion pounds— or 84 percent— of the 26 billion pounds of toxic chemical waste were instead managed through the use of preferred practices such as recycling. Of the 4 billion pounds that were disposed of or otherwise released to the environment, 66 percent went to land, 19 percent to air, 5 percent to water, and 10 percent was transferred to other facilities.
From 2012 to 2013, the amount of toxic chemicals managed as waste by the nation's industrial facilities increased by 4 percent. This increase includes the amount of chemicals recycled, treated, and burned for energy recovery, as well as the amount disposed of or otherwise released into the environment. In TRI, a "release" generally refers to a chemical that is emitted to the air, water, or placed in some type of land disposal. Most of these releases are subject to a variety of regulatory requirements designed to limit human and environmental harm.
"We all have a right to know what toxic chemicals are being used and released into our environment, and what steps companies are taking to reduce their releases to the environment or, better yet, prevent waste from being generated in the first place.” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “The TRI Program tracks this information and makes it accessible to citizens and communities. And I'm pleased to see that TRI data show such a commitment to release reductions and pollution prevention on the part of many industrial facilities.”
TRI data is submitted annually to EPA, states, and tribes by facilities in industry sectors such as manufacturing, metal mining, electric utilities, and commercial hazardous waste. Under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), facilities must report their toxic chemical releases for the prior year to EPA by July 1 of each year. The Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 also requires facilities to submit information on pollution prevention and other waste management activities related to TRI chemicals.
Over the past 10 years, total disposal or other releases to the environment have decreased 7 percent, despite a 15 percent increase from 2012 to 2013. The most recent increase was primarily due to increases in on-site land disposal from the metal mining sector, as has been the case in previous years. Metal mines typically handle large volumes of material. In this sector, a small change in the chemical composition of the deposit being mined can lead to big changes in the amount of toxic chemicals reported nationally.
Air releases from industrial facilities increased by 1 percent from 2012 to 2013, mainly due to increases from chemical manufacturing facilities and electric utilities that also experienced an increase in production. From 2012 to 2013, releases to water decreased by 2 percent, primarily due to decreases from the primary metals sector.
The TRI report is available in a new interactive, Web-based format that features analyses and interactive maps showing data at a state, county, city, and zip code level. In addition, information about industry efforts to reduce pollution is accessible through the expanded TRI Pollution Prevention (P2) Search Tool, where the public can now identify P2 successes and compare environmental performance among facilities and companies that provide data to the TRI program.
To access the 2013 TRI National Analysis report, including long-term trends and localized analyses, visit http://www.epa.gov/tri/nationalanalysis
. More information on facility efforts to reduce toxic chemical releases, including the new P2 parent company comparison report, is available at http://www.epa.gov/tri/p2
Rachel Deitz (News Media Only)
Released for public comment: AGCRC Center of Excellence Research Grant Competitive Selection Process
AGCRC releases Center of Excellence Research Grants Programs Draft Solicitation for Proposals and Competitive Process for Selection.
The Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council (AGCRC) released its Center of Excellence Research Grants Programs Draft Solicitation for Proposals and Competitive Process for Selection for public comment. The 45-day public comment period will end on February 2, 2015. Click here to view to view the proposed documents. Comments may be submitted online to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council, 118 N. Royal Street, Suite 603, Mobile, AL 36602.
The 2014 Annual Management Conference Meeting was held on December 17, 2014 at the Battle House Hotel. The event was a huge success and the MBNEP staff and committee chairs would like to thank each of you who were able to attend. If you were unable to join us, we have provided you with a short presentation and video that explains how we achieved our goals in 2014 and what's in store for the future. Thank you again to everyone for your support of the MBNEP and its mission.
Alabama author Winston Groom is introduced as the keynote speaker during the Alabama-Mississippi Bays and Bayous Symposium at the Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center in Mobile, Ala. on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014. (Dennis Pillion | email@example.com)
MOBILE, Alabama -- Long before he penned "Forrest Gump," "Gone the Sun," or a myriad of other fiction and non-fiction books, Winston Groom grew up on Mobile Bay, hunting and fishing in the Delta, exploring the many natural wonders of Coastal Alabama.
Groom spoke about his youthful experiences and the need for conservation of Alabama's sensitive waters Wednesday at the Alabama Mississippi Bays and Bayous Symposium. The two-day symposium was a gathering of scientists, engineers, government officials, non-profit groups and researchers who are actively involved in issues such as water quality, habitat management and developing resilient coastal communities in the two states.
"After reading through the list of all the projects that are in your program, I feel quite convinced that through your work, interest and dedication, the Alabama estuary system, from Tennessee to Mobile Bay, will be improved and preserved for many generations to come," Groom said. "I thank you for your intelligent science and your care-taking mission of protecting our nation's marine treasures."
Groom told stories of his father cutting a thin notch in a tree and inserting a penny to mark the tree's growth over the years, fishing and boating on Dog River and hunting in nutria rodeos organized to tame the invasive rodent. He also shared his thoughts on conservation issues he sees today from his Point Clear home.
After the main portion of his speech, Groom opened the floor for questions, even about his most famous book.
Groom doesn't mind talking about "Forrest Gump," but he would prefer it if people stopped telling him "life is like a box of chocolates," or giving him boxes of chocolate, or asking if he has a box of chocolate. That famous line from the Academy Award-winning movie was not in his book, but was added in by a Hollywood screenwriter.
"I would never write such a line as that," Groom said. "Ever since then I've been getting chocolates. For 20 years, everywhere I go there's a box of chocolates."
That line was just one example of the difficult task of adapting his book, which he said was about a 6-foot-5 idiot who could run 100 yards in 10 seconds flat, to a studio-acceptable film starring Tom Hanks. Groom compared some parts of the film-making process to "a one-armed man trying to nail together a chicken coop in a hurricane," but he said "somehow we muddled through it and got the movie made."
Groom was one of several keynote speakers at the symposium, organized by the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program, the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium and many other organizations. Also speaking at the conference was Justin Ehrenwerth, executive director of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council. That council will administer billions of dollars in Deepwater Horizon oil spill fine money over the next several years.
Experts from the Chesapeake Bay also spoke about the conservation programs and studies taking place in Virginia and Maryland, and noted science journalist Ari Daniel delivered a Tuesday night keynote address on his work in the Gulf of Mexico.
Roberta Swann, director of the Mobile Bay NEP, said the biennial conference is a productive gathering point for many separate groups working on similar issues to share information and compare projects. The symposium dates back to 1979, but adopted its current biennial schedule in 2006.
"I think this has been one of the best one yet," Swann said. "We have a lot of repeat customers and you can follow their science over time. There's also a lot of synergy taking place between the engineering firms, some of the resource managers and the scientists.
"Mostly the Bays and Bayous Symposium is about getting the best science on the ground and I think we achieved that."
This Fall issue of the NEP Newsletter covers "Connecting to Nature Makes Us More Caring", "The Importance of Access for Sustainable Tourism in Coastal Alabama", "Coastal Alabama Blueway to Launch in 2015", "Exchange Program Participant from Bangladesh Creating Community with Mobile Bay NEP" and much more.
You can read back issues of the newsletter by visiting our Library of Publications
Second Round of Grants from the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund
WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 17, 2014 -- The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced $9.6 million for four Alabama projects that address high-priority conservation needs. The projects, developed in consultation with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and federal resource agencies, are designed to remedy harm or reduce the risk of future harm to natural resources that were affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The moneys are the second obligation from NFWF’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, created 18 months ago as part of the settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice, BP and Transocean to resolve certain criminal charges against both companies in relation to the spill. Under the allocation formula and other provisions contained in the plea agreements, a total of $356 million will be paid into the Gulf Fund over a five-year period for conservation projects in the state of Alabama.