New Osprey Nesting Platforms Installed in Alabama
Finding a suitable place to build a nest can be a challenge for osprey that live along the Alabama coast. Thanks to an early restoration project approved by the Trustees in late 2015, osprey now have five new nesting platforms to choose from in Mobile and Baldwin counties. The Osprey Restoration in Coastal Alabama project provided these additional locations to increase the nesting success of osprey and help mitigate the injuries they suffered due to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The large poles and platforms have been installed by the Alabama Coastal Foundation at Delta Port Marina (Coden), Penalver Park (Dauphin Island), Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge (Baldwin County), Mo’s Landing (Gulf Shores), and Gulf State Park (Orange Beach).
As we work along the coast, it is the Trustees’ responsibility to comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including preservation of historical artifacts in accordance with the National Historic Preservation Act. To ensure we’re meeting those responsibilities, we increased the project budget by about $5,000 to support archaeological monitoring and inspection during installation of the large nesting platforms.
We’re very excited the installation of the platforms has been completed and hope to see osprey using them during nesting season this spring. Please watch our web page for additional updates.
If you know someone who might be interested in information about the Gulf Spill Restoration effort, forward this email to them and ask them to sign up for our updates.
The Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium is now seeking applicants for the 2019 National Sea Grant College Program Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship.
The fellowship is funded through the National Sea Grant Office and administered through individual state Sea Grant programs. Knauss Fellows spend a year in marine policy-related positions in the legislative and executive branches of the federal government in Washington D.C. Past fellows have worked in the offices of U.S. Senators and Representatives, on Congressional subcommittees, and at agencies such as the National Science Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Fellowships run from Feb. 1, 2019, to Jan. 31, 2020, and pay a stipend and living expenses of $47,500 plus some additional funds for health insurance, moving and fellowship-related activities such as travel.
Students must be enrolled in a graduate program during the spring semester of 2018 to be eligible.
Applications are due at the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium office Feb. 23, 2018. For application details and information about the Knauss program, visit the National Sea Grant website.
Applications must include:
- CV (2-page)
- Education and Career Goal statement (1000 words)
- Letters of recommendation (2 total, one from your major professor)
- Undergraduate and Graduate transcripts
- List of classes and plans for spring, summer and fall of 2018 (one page)
Please contact the MASGC director, LaDon Swann if you know of a potential candidate. Application materials should be sent to Loretta Leist. Once applications are received, candidates will be scheduled to interview with Dr. Swann in late February and March.
The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program seeks a qualified environmental or natural resource planning, engineering, or other similar firm or professional to prepare an Invasive Species Control Plan for the Three Mile Creek Watershed (HUC 031602040504) in Mobile County, AL. A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process will be used to select a contractor who can develop an implementable plan to eradicate or control invasive plant and animal species based upon available and new data. Statements of Qualification should be directed to the attention of Tom Herder (email@example.com) and received no later than 3:00 p.m. CST, Friday, February 2, 2018.
Mobile Bay National Estuary Program Receives $488,711 Grant to Implement a Comprehensive Strategy to Create Trash-Free Waters in the Three Mile Creek Watershed
The EPA’s Gulf of Mexico Program has awarded the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program (MBNEP) $488,711 to improve water quality, protect, enhance, and restore habitat, and provide environmental education and outreach in the Three Mile Creek (TMC) Watershed. Three of the five stated goals of the Three Mile Creek Watershed Management Plan, published in 2014 and conforming to EPA’s nine-key elements, are addressed in this proposed project: Improve water quality; Protect and improve the health of residents, fish, and wildlife; and restore heritage and cultural connections between the watershed and the community.
The project will be undertaken in two phases-
Phase 1- Reduce the amount of stormwater-borne trash and litter by 4,800 lbs. by utilizing the newly-developed and tested “Litter Gitter” small stream trash trap to tactically intercept floating litter at optimum points of entry downstream of high-volume stormwater outfalls to TMC waters.
Engage a group of 10 workers to remove legacy trash from areas throughout the Watershed not suitable for deploying community volunteers during clean-ups. Since many of the areas burdened with legacy litter require a higher level of training, effort to access, and competency in working in potentially hazardous situations, a single pass “hazard” cleanup will be undertaken to remove the inestimable quantities of existing legacy trash and litter from waterways.
Implement a trash and volunteer monitoring program at each Litter Gitter site. Once a month, students from Vigor High School (located in the TMC Watershed) will conduct water quality monitoring using Alabama Water Watch (AWW) test kits and protocols, conduct windshield surveys to assess nearby habitat condition, and upload data to an improved Water Rangers online database (which connects to the AWW).
Phase 2- Implement an alternative packaging incentive program, targeting five businesses identified as trash sources, to increase use of more environmentally-friendly alternatives. The MBNEP will use data collected to perform targeted outreach in an effort to change business practices.
Conduct at least one outreach event to raise awareness and encourage behavioral changes towards Creating a Clean Water Future for the Three Mile Creek Watershed. The formation of a TRASH MOB, at a large public gathering at which (previously choreographed) participants will “spontaneously” perform a dance to a catchy song with an anti-trash message will be organized to raise awareness and promote better behaviors to “pick it up.” The TRASH MOB song/dance sequence was developed as part of a Coastal Alabama Conservation Corps initiated by the MBNEP. In addition to the Trash Mob, presentations will be delivered to at least 200 community leaders at local service clubs to share trash capture accomplishments and cultivate sponsorship of Litter Gitters in TMC to sustain Litter Gitter operation past grant period.
Project background and details:
As the City of Mobile, Alabama, focuses on returning Three Mile Creek waterways (converted over time to stormwater conveyances) back to their former glory, litter, new and legacy from recent rains or decades of stormwater runoff, is the toughest challenge. Reductions in litter in this watershed will require a comprehensive approach that includes changes to business practices to reduce waste streams; increases in community awareness to change personal behaviors; a concerted effort to remove legacy trash from streambanks, wetlands, and creek beds; and affordable installation and maintenance of devices strategically deployed to capture litter carried to waterways by stormwater runoff. Successful implementation of these measures will have the greatest impact on Three Mile Creek’s downstream area, home to a large percentage of low-income, underserved, minority neighborhoods, some of which are, for the first time, getting acquainted with this resource, literally located in their backyard. Not only will this effort result in healthier habitats for fish and wildlife and better water quality for flora, fauna, and humans, it will reconnect Mobilians and others to what was once the life blood and drinking water source for the City, improving aesthetics, property values and economic opportunities for all.
The Watershed. Three Mile Creek (TMC) drains a relatively small (29 sq. mi.), largely-urban area that stretches 14 miles from its headwaters near Cody Road across northern portions of the City of Mobile and southern portions of the City of Prichard, before spilling into Mobile River near the Alabama State Port Authority (maps shown in Attachment 2). The Watershed is a significant part of the fabric of this region. TMC was the original source of drinking water for the City of Mobile and a cultural center of the community until impacts of increased urbanization in the mid-20th century forced City leaders to turn to Big Creek Lake as an alternative source of drinking water.
The MBNEP has prepared this Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to seek an experienced and qualified environmental engineering consulting firm or similar firm to provide specified professional engineering services for a stream restoration project on Twelve Mile Creek, a major tributary in the Three Mile Creek Watershed (HUC 031602040504) in Mobile County, AL.
Welcome to Alabama's Dauphin Island, where it floods all the time. Read more...
In 2014, Goodwyn, Mills, and Cawood were 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.
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