MBNEP seeks Deputy Director

The Deputy Director has five primary responsibilities: Lead development of conservation plans and tools that integrate biological goals and objectives established by Science Advisory (SAC) and Project Implementation committees (PIC); Coordinate design of programs with a focus on enhancing implementation of the CCMP and building community capacity to protect coastal resources; Coordinate communication of status and trends of estuarine indicators, populations, restorations, and stressor through the development of geospatial and other products for distribution to the public; Assist with oversight of financial, programmatic and grants management to ensure the work of the MBNEP is undertaken in a timely manner.

You can view the full job description in our Careers section. 

Posted on 01/07/15 at 05:55 PM Permalink

Fowl River Workshop

Join us on February 24th or the 26th for a Community Choices Workshop regarding the future of the Fowl River Community. To learn more about these workshops click here

Posted on 01/20/15 at 02:52 PM Permalink

EPA Releases 2013 Toxics Release Inventory National Analysis

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

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CONTACT:
Rachel Deitz (News Media Only)
deitz.rachel@epa.gov
(202) 564-1807

Posted on 01/14/15 at 10:27 AM Permalink

2015 Sustainability Summit

The 2015 Sustainability Summit is being held on Friday January 30th from 8:30 to 3:30 at the University of South Alabama. To register and to review the Summit Schedule click here

Posted on 01/08/15 at 10:09 AM Permalink

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 agcrc@dcnr.alabama.gov or mailed to the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council, 118 N. Royal Street, Suite 603, Mobile, AL 36602.

Posted on 12/18/14 at 03:50 PM Permalink

MBNEP 2014 Annual Management Conference Meeting

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.

Presentation

Video

Posted on 12/17/14 at 12:42 PM Permalink

Winston Groom talks growing up in Coastal Alabama, ‘Forrest Gump’ at Bays and Bayous Symposium

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 | dpillion@al.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."

 

http://www.al.com/news/beaches/index.ssf/2014/12/forrest_gump_author_offers_tha.html#incart_river

Posted on 12/04/14 at 03:37 PM Permalink

Alabama Current Connection: 2014 Fall Edition

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.

To download the newsletter click here

You can read back issues of the newsletter by visiting our Library of Publications

Posted on 11/18/14 at 02:26 PM Permalink

NFWF Announces $9.6 Million for Gulf Restoration Projects in Alabama

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.

Click here to view the full announcement

Posted on 11/18/14 at 12:27 PM Permalink

NFWF Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund

Current Projects

On November 17, 2014, NFWF announced $9.6 million in funding for four projects in the state of Alabama. For details on Alabama's new projects in 2014 please click here.

To date, ​NFWF has awarded $22.1 million from the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund for seven restoration projects in the state of Alabama. These projects were selected for funding following extensive consultation with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The Alabama projects address high priority conservation needs. They represent important efforts to protect and enhance natural and living resources, as well as significant planning efforts to develop future projects for consideration under the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund.

Click on the project title for more information:

Alabama Barrier Island Restoration Assessment (2014-new)

Coastal Habitat Restoration Planning Initiative (2014-new)

Enhanced Fisheries Monitoring in Alabama’s Marine Waters (2014-new)

Alabama Marine Mammal Conservation  and Recovery Program (2014-new)

Restoration and Enhancement of Oyster Reefs (2013)

D’Olive Watershed Restoration (2013)

Fowl River Watershed Restoration – Phase I (2013)

Future Projects

NFWF is engaged in consultation with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, FWS and NOAA to identify priority conservation projects for consideration under the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund. Reveiw of the 2015 cycle proposals is expected to begin in the spring of 2015.

About the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund

NFWF’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund was established in early 2013 as a result of two plea agreements resolving the criminal cases against BP and Transocean after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The agreements direct a total of $2.544 billion to NFWF over a five-year period. The funds are to be used to support projects that remedy harm to natural resources (habitats, species) where there has been injury to, or destruction of, loss of, or loss of use of those resources resulting from the oil spill. Projects are expected to occur within reasonable proximity to where the impacts occurred, as appropriate.

Consistent with the terms of the plea agreements, funding priorities include, but are not limited to, projects that contribute significantly to the following natural resource outcomes:

  • Restore and maintain the ecological functions of landscape-scale coastal habitats, including barrier islands, beaches and coastal marshes, and ensure their viability and resilience against existing and future threats;
  • Restore and maintain the ecological integrity of priority coastal bays and estuaries; and
  • Replenish and protect living resources including oysters, red snapper and other reef fish, Gulf Coast bird populations, sea turtles and marine mammals.
  • This list was prepared in collaboration with state and federal resource agencies.  For a list of potential actions that might be considered to advance these outcomes, please click here.

Learn more about NFWF’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund.

The Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund in Alabama

Under the allocation formula and other provisions contained in the plea agreements, $356 million of the total amount to be deposited into the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund will be for project expenditures in the state of Alabama ​(funded over a five-year period).

Alabama is working to develop and implement to restoration efforts that maximizes the benefit of current and future funding with the overall goal of achieving long-lasting and sustainable environmental benefit for the state and region. Learn more at www.AlabamaCoastalRestoration.org

Posted on 11/17/14 at 12:29 PM Permalink