The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program is seeking a well qualified Restoration Project Manager. This person will develop and oversee habitat restoration projects within the Mobile Bay Watershed with an emphasis on efforts that improve water quality, enhance important habitats, and protect the estuarine environment. Click below to read the full announcement and how to apply.
In partnership with
MOBILE BAY NATIONAL ESTUARY PROGRAM'S
BUSINESS RESOURCES COMMITTEE
Invites you to participate in an Amphibious Assault clean-up of One Mile Creek and the Maple Street tributary as an implementation measure of the Three Mile Creek Watershed Management Plan.
When: Friday November 11th from 8:00 a.m.– 4:00 p.m. (join us all day or an hour or two). Lunch will be provided, along with gloves, pickers, and bags.
Where: One Mile Creek from the confluence with TMC to the headwaters in downtown Mobile and Maple St. tributary from street end to its confluence with One Mile Creek.
What: Removal of “legacy trash” by boat along shorelines and water surface.
Why: To address pervasive and long standing problem that compromises habitat value, water quality, and aesthetics.
Contact Rick Frederick with the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program for additional information, (251) 380-7941 or email@example.com
The Weeks Bay Foundation (WBF) seeks an energetic, dedicated individual to become its Development and Communications Coordinator (DCC). The WBF is an accredited land trust with 650 members that conserves land in coastal Alabama and provides support to the Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Incorporated in 1990 as a non-profit organization, the WBF has helped to protect over 7,000 acres of coastal habitat, built boardwalks, supported environmental education programs, and funded water-quality monitoring efforts. The DCC will work closely with the Executive Director, the Office Manager and an engaged, volunteer board to:
advance the mission of the WBF
- increase support for land acquisition and conservation education by developing a robust fund raising program
- present a strong positive image to local communities, elected officials, donors, and other stakeholders
- oversee electronic and written communications from the Foundation to its members and the public
This position is available as part-time to full-time with salary and benefits to be negotiated based on experience, work schedule, and available resources. Complete job description, application instructions and more information on the Foundation are available at http://www.weeksbay.org or by clicking here.
Christian Miller has been working in extension/outreach activities since 2004, first in Florida, and then in south Alabama. Christian joined the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium outreach team as an extension specialist in 2009. He works out of the Auburn University Marine Extension and Research Center in Mobile, Alabama, and his work focuses on nonpoint source pollution. He serves as the Alabama- Mississippi Clean Marina Program coordinator and the Coastal Alabama Clean Water Partnership facilitator. Along with all of this great work, he found time to become an AWW trainer too! Since becoming certified as an AWW trainer in 2014, Christian has coordinated numerous trainings along Alabama’s beautiful Gulf Coast.
Dixie Bar Redfish
Let’s get to know Christian a bit better:
1. Where do you call home?
I live in Mobile, AL. I work as an Extension Specialist with the Auburn University Marine Extension & Research Center in partnership with Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program, and the Alabama Clean Water Partnership. I’ve lived in lots of places, but I’ve always been drawn to the Gulf Coast, and the Mobile area in particular. Our proximity to the water and all of the unique cultural experiences and natural resources we have at our fingertips make this a great place to call home.
2. What stream, river, lake, bay, bayou is your favorite water-spot?
Alabama is blessed with so many unique waterways it’s impossible to name just one. I’ve had the opportunity to fish/boat/wade a lot of our coastal streams, rivers, bays, and bayous. The Tensaw River Delta is a pretty special place. I’ve also greatly enjoyed time spent on the waters of Three Mile Creek, Halls Mill Creek, Bayou Sara, Fowl River, Wolf Bay, Little Lagoon, and Mobile Bay. Also, growing up in Talladega, I’ve got a lot of special memories of times spent on waterways in northern reaches of the State including: Little River Canyon, Lake Logan Martin, and many of the unnamed tribs that snake through the Talladega National Forest. If left with just one, I’d have to go with my favorite fishing spots which lie along Dixey Bar on the Gulf-fronting side of Fort Morgan at the mouth of Mobile Bay.
Mobile-Tensaw River Delta
3. What water recreation/sports do you enjoy most?
Fishing, Kayaking, boating, pretty much anything that involves being out on the water. Some of my earliest memories are fishing with my grandfather on the Peace River in southwest Florida. Those earliest memories of time spent on the water are what pushed me into the sciences, and more specifically natural resource management, as a career.
Bayou La Batre
4. What got you interested in Alabama Water Watch?
My introduction to Alabama Water Watch came during my undergraduate Ecology course at Jacksonville State University. My professor, Dr. Frank Romano, trained all his students in the water chemistry and benthic macroinvertebrate methods in several tribs to Tallasseehatche Creek that flow through the Jacksonville area. Currently, in coastal Alabama we’ve been working with local watershed groups, including the Wolf Bay Watershed Watch and Dog River Clear Water Revival, to boost the numbers of active volunteer water quality monitors across both Mobile and Baldwin counties. As we continue to develop and implement watershed management plans, it is critical to engage local citizens in efforts to monitor the success of coastal restoration efforts through programs like AWW.
AWW water chemistry training at Bayfront Park on Mobile Bay in Daphne, AL
5. What are your biggest challenges/issues in your favorite watershed?
I live in the Dog River Watershed which drains over 50,000 acres, much of which are urbanized areas of the City of Mobile. As you would expect, most of Dog River and its tributaries are experiencing issues associated with excess stormwater runoff. There are multiple segments throughout the Watershed impaired for low dissolved oxygen, pathogenic bacteria, and sedimentation. Litter is also a major issue, and impacts all of our coastal waterways. A host of local partners are united in efforts to raise awareness of stormwater pollution through the Create a Clean Water Future campaign (http://www.cleanwaterfuture.com).
Tensaw River looking toward downtown Mobile
6. Do you have some ‘lessons learned’ that you could pass on to the rest of us relative to watershed stewardship?
Stay engaged and involved. We have been using citizen water quality monitoring as a means to engage coastal stakeholders in implementing actions to improve water quality and natural resources through our watershed plans. Citizens like to know that what they are doing, through collecting and reporting water quality data, is making a difference.
Christian having a good day on Lake Logan Martin
The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program (MBNEP) is partnering with the State of Alabama, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium to develop the Alabama Coastal Comprehensive Plan (ACCP), a constituent-informed, science-based plan to strengthen the economic, environmental, and social resilience of south Alabama for current and future generations. Over the last year, visioning sessions have been held throughout Baldwin and Mobile Counties to gather citizen input for the ACCP. In support of this effort, the MBNEP has developed a tool to better refine the input received in an effort to gain additional clarity of needs and opportunities. We ask that you please take about 20 minutes to complete the questionnaire. In addition, please share this link and encourage others to participate, as citizen input is a very important component of this planning process. The deadline to complete the questionnaire, which can be accessed by clicking on the link below, is October 31, 2016.
By Eliska Morgan, Coastal Restoration Coordinator, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resoruces
As reported in a previous issue of Coastal Connection, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has partnered with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Mobile District (USACE), the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, and the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program (MBNEP) to develop a constituent-informed, science-based coastal comprehensive plan to strengthen the economic, environmental, and social resilience of coastal Alabama for current and future generations.
By maximizing the use of resources in support of this comprehensive planning effort, the ACCP will create a roadmap for local, state and federal officials as they seek to:
- reduce the susceptibility of residential, commercial and public infrastructure to storm damages, climate change, and sea level rise;
- improve habitats for freshwater, coastal, and marine resources to support commercial and recreational harvest;
- assist in the restoration of natural and human-made features damaged by erosion or unwise land use or development decisions;
- promote long-term erosion reduction during future natural hazards; and
- promote diversification of economies within the two coastal counties as a means of economic resilience from future hazards.
As part of the initial development of the ACCP, nineteen visioning sessions were conducted last year – seventeen with targeted focus groups and two with a broader public audience. Using input received in the visioning sessions, a survey is being developed by the MBNEP to further identify and classify priority issues. When given the opportunity, we hope you will take the time to participate in the MBNEP survey this summer, as this process will generate valuable information for the USACE to develop vulnerability and adaptability assessments.
It is not too late to share your coastal vision on the ACCP website at accp.usace.army.mil. You may also go here to get the latest update on the ACCP as well as to view comments received thus far on an interactive map.
The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program has released its Year 4 Work Plan. Major Goals and Focus: In October 2013, MBNEP began implementation of a Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan for 2013-2018. Over the course of the first year, each of the committees of the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program adopted a fiveyear strategy to protect/improve management of: Access to the water and open spaces; Beaches and Shorelines; Fish; Heritage and Culture; Environmental Health/Resiliency; Water Quality. These committees continue their commitment toward the successful implentation of this plan. You can review the Year 4 Work Plan by clicking here.
Monday, June 6, 2016
Fowl River Restoration & Dredging Project Set for Later This Month
The restoration of the erosion-impacted and storm-vulnerable northern tip of Mon Louis Island is set to get underway following a June 8 pre-construction meeting. What was proposed and funded through a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund in late 2013 as an emergency project and a race to complete before a catastrophic tropical weather event has finally been permitted and contracted. Orion Marine Construction has been hired to implement this project, designed by Thompson Engineering with assistance from the Mobile Bay NEP and the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Operations Division. The project will include the construction of a continuous rock breakwater along the footprint of the historic 1997 shoreline, subsequent hydraulic dredging to borrow material from the Fowl River Open Water Disposal Area (FROWDA) to create four acres of salt marsh behind the breakwater, and maintenance dredging of the shallow and neglected Fowl River navigation channel to replace the borrowed material.
Project implementation was delayed by design challenges and permitting. The original intention was to borrow material directly from the navigation channel, but its sediments were silty and of insufficient quality for marsh creation. After considering upland and upstream sources of suitable material, core samples obtained from the FROWDA in early 2015 were revealed to be sandy enough for marsh creation. State Senator Bill Hightower secured State Deepwater Horizon Impact Funds to undertake maintenance dredging to restore channel navigability and provide a source of material to replace what was borrowed and restore water quality conditions along the Bay bottom. Combining the two dredging efforts provides cost efficiencies, improved access for recreational boaters, and ensures no negative impacts to water quality on the bottom.
A Corps permit was finally issued in March, 2016, allowing the project to go to forward. Orion’s bid was low enough to include maintenance dredging to an 11-foot depth, three feet deeper than standard Corps protocols. This will ensure a longer period of navigability through this inlet during challenging economic times when maintenance dredging cannot be expected. After Orion completes the described scope of work before the end of 2016, the created wetland area will be left to consolidate and settle for six months before it’s graded and planted. The project will double the area currently providing nursery and refuge habitat for fish, shellfish, and wildlife.