AGCRC releases Draft Multiyear Implementation Plan for 45-day public comment period

April 19, 2018 - Today, the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council (Council) released its Draft Multiyear Implementation Plan (MIP) for a 45-day public comment period.  In a public meeting on March 7, 2018, the Council voted on projects to include in its “Bucket 1” plan, and yesterday, adopted the Draft MIP which, once finalized, will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Treasury for review and approval.

The projects proposed in this plan are all located within the Gulf Coast Region and are consistent with the eligible criteria as stated in the RESTORE Act, and in accordance with the focus areas selected by the Council which include infrastructure projects benefiting the economy and corresponding planning assistance.

“This is certainly an important milestone for the Alabama Council,” said Governor Kay Ivey.  “I am proud of the work they have accomplished since I became governor just over a year ago, and it was an honor to preside over the meeting yesterday in Spanish Fort when we voted to adopt this plan.”

The Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council was created with the passage of the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies Act of 2012 (RESTORE Act).  The 10-member council is made up of the Governor, who serves as chair; the Director of the Alabama State Port Authority, who serves as vice-chair; the Chairman of the Baldwin County Commission; the President of the Mobile County Commission; and the Mayors of Bayou La Batre, Dauphin Island, Fairhope, Gulf Shores, Mobile, and Orange Beach.  Former Congressman Jo Bonner serves as the Governor’s representative in her absence.

To engage the public in its project selection process, in December 2016, the Council made a call for projects to be submitted in Alabama’s Coastal Restoration portal.  The Council used project submissions received through that process, along with projects previously submitted since the portal went live in March 2014, to select projects for further evaluation and ultimate placement on the Draft MIP project slate.

The proposed activities for Direct Component funding in this plan have a total estimated cost of $192,416,759.

The Council is now asking for public comment on this Draft Multiyear Implementation Plan until June 4, 2018.  Comments can be submitted online at agcrc@dcnr.alabama.gov or mailed to:  Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council, 118 N. Royal Street, Suite 603, Mobile, AL  36602.

In addition, a public meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 23, 2018, where the Council will present the proposed plan and receive comments.  

Date:  May 23, 2018
Location:  Five Rivers Tensaw Theater, Spanish Fort, AL
Time:  6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Comments received by the June 4 deadline will be reviewed and considered in preparing the Final Multiyear Implementation Plan.

Pursuant to the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, any person requiring special accommodations to participate in this meeting is asked to advise the Alabama Council at least five days before the meeting by calling Eliska Morgan at (251) 380-7944.

Posted on 04/25/18 at 09:04 AM Permalink

Bays & Bayous 2018-Call for Abstracts

Bays and Bayous Symposium committee releases call for abstracts, sessions

The 2018 Alabama-Mississippi Bays and Bayous Symposium Program Committee has released a call for abstracts and sessions for the Nov. 28-29 event in Mobile, Alabama.

Track topics include the following:

  • Water Quality: Assessing and improving water quality to support economies, ecosystem services, culture and community resilience
  • Habitat Management: Conservation and restoration for resilient ecosystem service provision to support healthy populations and communities
  • Living Resources: Understanding the flora and fauna of coastal ecosystems and their contributions to ecosystem function
  • Resilient Communities: Adapting to environmental changes to maintain economies, ecosystem service provision, cultural values and quality of life in the face of natural and anthropogenic stressors
  • Oil Spill Research, Recovery and Restoration: Sharing research results, recovery approaches and/or successful restoration efforts related to Deepwater Horizon or other oil spills impacting the northern Gulf of Mexico

The committee also encourages science, research and restoration practitioners to propose full thematic group sessions, focusing on different aspects of the same project or issue. There will be student presentation awards, too.

Abstracts must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Aug. 31.

The Call for Abstracts/Sessions is attached. Please note presentations will be 10 minutes with an additional 5 minutes for Q&A.

More info about Bays and Bayous is available on the event website.

Posted on 07/02/18 at 08:41 AM Permalink

Water’s Extreme Journey at the Exploreum

Water’s Extreme Journey splashes into the Gulf Coast Exploreum

MOBILE, AL. June 12, 2018 – Are you ready for an exciting and educational adventure? Water’s Extreme Journey will take visitors through an interactive 1,500 square foot maze, transforming them into a drop of water that enters a watershed then takes a voyage through rivers, lakes, wetlands and even their homes. The goal? To understand how everyday decisions impact everything from our drinking water to the health of our major waterways, wildlife, and beyond. Interactive elements within the exhibit – such as the Zip Slide, Water Cycle Puzzle, Recycle vs. Trash, Urban River/Storm Drain, The Dirty Dozen and Wildlife Wheel - all help to drive home the importance of the water cycle in a fun and engaging fashion.

Water’s Extreme Journey opens at the Gulf Coast Exploreum on Wednesday, June 13 and will run through Monday, September 3. This exhibit is made possible through a partnership with Mobile County, Mobile Bay National Estuary Program, and MAWSS. The goal of this collaborative effort is to entertain while educating the local community about the importance of our waterways’ health both on a local, day-to-day level and on a much broader, global scale.

The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program, with a mission to promote wise stewardship of the water quality characteristics and living resource base of the Mobile Bay estuarine system, is excited to partner with Gulf Coast Exploreum as a sponsor and technical advisor for this unique exhibit to connect and educate the community on our area’s most valuable resource - Water!

"Water’s Extreme Journey is a truly fascinating educational approach to teaching about a water droplet’s journey through neighborhoods and watersheds as it eventually reaches the ocean. My office is proud to sponsor this fun and educational exhibit,” says Mobile County Commissioner Connie Hudson.

MAWSS (Mobile Area Water and Sewer System) also understands the importance of protecting local waterways. Big Creek Lake is a 3,600 acre man made reservoir that holds 17 billion gallons of water and is continually fed by streams, creeks and groundwater in western Mobile County. The Lake and surrounding watershed are home to a variety of fish and wildlife including threatened species such as the gopher tortoise, eastern indigo snake and red-cockaded woodpecker. To protect this valuable resource from encroaching development, MAWSS owns and manages 9,000 acres of land surrounding the Lake to act as a buffer.

Water’s Extreme Journey, developed with world-renowned marine-life artist Wyland, was created by Minotaur Mazes, a Seattle-based, worldwide traveling exhibitions company specializing in complete, interactive exhibition experiences within a maze setting. “Mazes engage both mentally and physically, and the tactile experience helps visitors retain ideas long after they have left the exhibit,” says Dr. Kortenaar of SEE Science Center.

As an extension of the exhibit, the Gulf Coast Exploreum has partnered with several local organizations who work in various facets of clean water stewardship including Mobile Bay National Estuary Program, Alabama Coastal Foundation, Mobile Baykeeper, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, and Dog River Clearwater Revival, as well as others to be announced. The partners will participate in an Exploreum-hosted Water Education Festival on Saturday, August 4 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Additional details on this event will be released later this summer. 

Admission for Water’s Extreme Journey is included in general admission pricing ($6-17) and is free to Exploreum members. The J.L. Bedsole IMAX Dome Theater is currently featuring MacGillvray Freeman’s National Parks Adventure as well as a Summer Film Festival (Sponsored by Mobile County) featuring a different IMAX film each week all summer long! IMAX is an additional fee. 

Posted on 06/18/18 at 03:09 PM Permalink

Mobile Premiere of “Flight of the Frigate Bird” at Ben May Public Library

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Rick Frederick, Community Relations Manager
Organization: Mobile Bay National Estuary Program
Phone: (251) 380-7941
Email: rfrederick@mobilebaynep.com
Website: http://www.mobilebaynep.com
Date: May 17, 2018

Mobile Premiere of “Flight of the Frigate Bird” at Ben May Public Library on May 31st A documentary produced and created by the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program features an oral history of Dauphin Island during “pre-bridge” days with a continuing look forward at current and future environmental changes effecting the landscape, economy, and people of the island. The Flight of the Frigate Bird, An Omen of Rising Seas, was created to educate and raise awareness of the vulnerability of northern Gulf of Mexico barrier islands due to climate change and sea level rise. The film will be shown to the public on Thursday, May 31st at Bernheim Hall in the Ben May Main Public Library. Doors open at 6:30 and the premiere begins at 7:00 p.m.

Posted on 05/17/18 at 03:08 PM Permalink

Septic Tank Pump-Out Workshop

Another ADEM sponsored Septic Tank Pump-Out Workshop for resident homeowners!

Thursday, May 17, 2018 @6:00pm
Saraland Community Center
716 Mae Street, Saraland, AL 36571

FREE PUMP-OUTS:   SECTOR 3

For more information call
Ms. Tracey Hall
251) 441-6505, xtn 3
thall@mobile-county.net

     

Posted on 05/15/18 at 12:37 PM Permalink

Mobile City Council Endorses Dog River Watershed Management Plan

The Mobile City Council has officially endorsed the Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan for the Dog River Watershed. The resolution was sponsored by Mayor Sandy Stimpson, Councilman John Williams and C.J. Small, and submitted by Dianne Irby and the Department of Engineering & Development. The plan was prepared by the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program in partnership with Goodwyn Mills and Cawood and other concerned community leaders with interest in the long-term viability of this area.

Completed in October 2017 and funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, the Dog River Watershed Management Plan documents the current state of the water quality and ecological impairment in the Watershed; describes major pollutants; assesses future climate change scenarios; evaluates potential improvement measures and practices; and prioritizes watershed improvement actions. The City of Mobile will partner with the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program and Dog River Clearwater Revival to focus on implementation of specific measures and actions contained in the watershed management plan that coincide with goals stated in the Map for Mobile.

"Having a clear picture of the current status of Mobile's vast urban watershed is the first step toward lasting improvements. Whether its preventing or removing unwanted materials, increasing public access and awareness, restoring damaged shorelines or protecting critical habitat, we must have accurate scientific data to support our projects, especially the funding of those projects. Having a thorough road-map to help guide our projects will result in wiser use of resources with broader positive impacts." Debi Foster, Executive Director, Dog River Clearwater Revival.

The Dog River Watershed, draining southern portions of the City of Mobile and adjacent, unincorporated areas of Mobile County, Alabama, encompasses 59,705 acres and contributes to the health and vitality of its receiving waters of Mobile Bay. The landscape of this watershed ranges from gently rolling terrain in headwaters downstream to low coastal plains, tidal marshes, and historic wooded wetlands. 

Posted on 05/07/18 at 07:40 AM Permalink

For Immediate Release: MBNEP awarded $300,000 grant

The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program has been awarded a grant of $300,000 over two years by the Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program managed by U. S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities with additional funding by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

The project’s goal is to advance strategic protection of healthy habitat parcels in Mobile, Tombigbee, and Alabama River basins through the development of a Mobile Basin Habitat Atlas identifying healthy headwater habitat parcels in Alabama. The goal of the atlas is to protect over 10,000 acres of priority headwater habitats in the first year and a total of 100,000 acres in five to ten years.

The $300,000 awarded to Mobile Bay National Estuary Program represents an important start for their focus on the Tensaw/Apalachee watershed management planning due to begin this year. Watershed Management Planning is a key tool MBNEP uses to fulfil its mission to be good stewards of Alabama's estuaries. The resulting plan is an important first step in preserving water quality in our area's streams, rivers, and wetlands and depends on public involvement and “stakeholders” who know the area, recognize its problems, and are invested in its health and resilience. Each plan includes a watershed description that educates communities about the geography, geology, biology, ecology, and hydrology of the drainage area’s land and water. It identifies causes and/or sources of pollution or impairment, identifies gaps in data related to watershed conditions, and estimates pollutant loads that enter the receiving waters.

Mobile Bay NEP has completed Watershed Management Plans for D’Olive Creek, Three Mile Creek, Fowl River, Bon Secour, Weeks Bay, and Dog River. The Mississippi Sound Complex plan is under development, and Wolf Bay and Tensaw Appalache watersheds are next in line with the goal of completing all intertidal watersheds in coastal Alabama in the next few years.

In its third year, the Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program is awarding 22 grants with more than $4 million to protect America’s watersheds with the goal of accelerating and expanding the strategic protection of healthy, freshwater ecosystems and their watersheds. EPA and The Endowment each committed $3.75 million and NRCS $3.5 million, to the six-year partnership. In this third year of the program, 76 applications requesting $14 million were received. This is the first Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant received by the MBNEP. 

Posted on 05/02/18 at 07:59 AM Permalink

$300,000 Award for Watershed Protection from U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities

Mobile Bay National Estuary Program - Mobile Alabama
For Immediate Release (April 28, 2018)

Atlas area in Alabama and Tombigbee Watersheds

The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program has been awarded a grant of $300,000 over two years by the Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program managed by U. S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities with additional funding by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

The project’s goal is to advance strategic protection of healthy habitat parcels in Mobile-Tombigbee (HUC 0315), and Alabama River (HUC 0316) basins through the development of a Mobile Basin Habitat Atlas identifying healthy headwater habitat parcels in Alabama. The goal of the atlas is to protect over 10,000 acres of priority headwater habitats in the first year and a total of 100,000 acres in five to ten years.

The $300,000 awarded to Mobile Bay National Estuary Program represents an important start for their focus on the Tensaw/Apalachee watershed management planning due to begin this year.

Watershed Management Planning is a key tool MBNEP uses to fulfil its mission to be good stewards of Alabama's estuaries. The resulting plan is an important first steps in preserving water quality in our area's streams, rivers, and wetlands and depends on public involvement and “stakeholders” who know the area, recognize its problems, and are invested in its health and resilience. Each plan includes a watershed description that educates communities about the geography, geology, biology, ecology, and hydrology of the drainage area’s land and water. It identifies causes and/or sources of pollution or impairment, identifies gaps in data related to watershed conditions, and estimates pollutant loads that enter the receiving waters.

Mobile Bay NEP has completed Watershed Management Plans for D’Olive Creek, Three Mile Creek, Fowl River, Bon Secour, Weeks Bay, and Dog River. The Mississippi Sound Complex plan is under development, and Wolf Bay and Tensaw Appalache watersheds are next in line with the goal of completing all intertidal watersheds in coastal Alabama in the next few years.

In its third year, the Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program is awarding 22 grants with more than $4 million to protect America’s watersheds with the goal of accelerating and expanding the strategic protection of healthy, freshwater ecosystems and their watersheds. EPA and The Endowment each committed $3.75 million and NRCS $3.5 million, to the six year partnership. In this third year of the program, 76 applications requesting $14 million were received.  This is the first Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant received by the MBNEP.

Posted on 04/26/18 at 02:22 PM Permalink

Free Septic Tank Pump-Out Workshops for Resident Homeowners

Two upcoming free Septic Tank Pump-Out Workshopes for resident homeowners.

April 16th
Creola Senior Center (SAIL)
9618 Old Hwy 43
Creola, AL 36525

May 1st
Turnerville VFD #3 Bldg.
Axis-Lemoyne
13145 Hwy 43 N
Axis, AL 36505

For more information, please call
Ms. Tracey Hall
(251) 441-6505, ext. 3
thall@mobile-county.net

Posted on 04/09/18 at 09:15 AM Permalink

Job Announcement: Watershed Management Coordinator

The Baldwin County Soil and Water Conservation District is seeking a qualified individual to serve as the Watershed Management Coordinator to oversee all aspects of watershed plan implementation in Baldwin County. Applicants should have the cover letters and resumes submitted no later than April 17.

Job Overview: The Watershed Management Coordinator has three primary responsibilities: 1.) Oversee all aspects of implementation of Watershed Management Plans (WMP) in Baldwin County including but not limited to project identification, acquisition of funding, contracting, project management, community engagement coordination; and other services in support of WMP implementation; 2.) Coordinate a Watershed Implementation Team (WIT) to carry forward the work necessary to prioritize site-specific projects, work with governmental entities within Baldwin County, and locate the funding necessary to implement the management measure s recommended in WMPs; and 3.) Educate target audiences about issues including, but not limited to, those affecting the Alabama coast and activities being undertaken to mitigate stress on water quality and natural resources.

Job Requirements-Experience/Education: Job requirements include a minimum of a B.S. in Environmental Sciences or related fields (Ecology, Biology, or other related focus) coordinating restoration programs, land use planning, etc.; ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing to a wide range of individuals and groups; field oversight/supervisory activities; experience in the use of geographical information systems is a plus; experience in watershed management is a plus; and ability to work with minimal supervision.

Salary and Position Details: The Watershed Management Coordinator initially will be a contracted employee and will report to the Baldwin County Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors. The position’s salary range is between $40,000 and $50,000 per year commensurate with experience. The position is currently funded for one year and continued employment is contingent upon demonstrated success of WMP implementation and securing additional funding.

To Apply: Send a resume, cover letter, and names and contact information for three references to Rhonda Bryars, District Administrative Coordinator, Baldwin County Soil & Water Conservation District, 207 Faulkner Drive, Ste 107, Bay Minette, AL 36507 or by email: baldwin@alconservationdistricts.org. For more detailed job description and responsibilities please request by email or by visiting the Baldwin County Soil & Water Conservation District office during the hours of 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Posted on 04/02/18 at 12:56 PM Permalink