Area Mayors Tour Stream Restoration

Daphne, AL: Mobile Mayor, Sandy Stimpson,  Daphne Mayor, Dane Haygood and Baldwin County republican nominees for county commissioner, Billie Jo Underwood, Jeb Ball, and Joe Davis along with key staff members from both Mobile, Daphne and Baldwin County to tour ongoing and completed stormwater management and stream restoration projects in and around Daphne, Thursday, July 26th.

Mobile Bay National Estuary Program (MBNEP), Executive Director, Roberta Swann hosted the tour to demonstrate how MBNEP has successfully worked on behalf of multiple stakeholders, the City of Daphne, the City of Spanish Fort, and Baldwin County to implement stormwater management and stream restoration projects in the D'Olive watershed.  The goal is to foster collaborations with all the various stakeholders and local governmental bodies to implement similar projects in the future. 

Since the release of the D’Olive Watershed Management Plan in 2010, MBNEP has helped Daphne leverage funding resulting in an excess of $12 Million of restoration projects in the watershed. Restoration began in response to concerns about the excessive sedimentation of Lake Forest Lake and D’Olive Bay.  Extensive monitoring was performed to determine the origins of the sediment pollution resulting in a list of multiple areas that were in emergency need of restoration.

At the top of the list of problem areas was a head-cut on an unnamed tributary of Joe’s Branch that was dangerously close to damaging Highway 31 in Spanish Fort.  Through funding from the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) and Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), a step-pool stormwater conveyance was built as a balance between creating a stormwater facility that could handle excessive flow with the desire to restore ecological function.

Since the Joe’s Branch restoration MBNEP has worked with Daphne and Spanish Fort to improve eight other areas in the watershed that were significant contributors to sediment pollution.  These projects included funding from the NFWF Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund a result of the BP Oil Spill.

As RESTORE and other funding becomes available, MBNEP hopes to highlight the successes in Daphne as a model for other stormwater problem areas in Mobile and Baldwin Counties as highlighted in the additional watershed management plans that MBNEP has published over the last 5 years.

Addressing these stormwater issues requires collaboration between multiple governments, stakeholder groups, partners, agencies, and funding sources. As an independent intermediary, MBNEP has a track-record of bringing these various parties to the table, come to a consensus and make progress on issues related to stormwater and pollution.

Posted on 07/25/18 at 05:17 PM Permalink

Trash Blows Campaign Rollout at ADSFR

Trash Blows...Stow it!

 

Mobile Bay National Estuary Program Begins “Trash Blows” Campaign on Dauphin Island
Campaign encourages anglers to stow their truck bed and boat trash to keep waterways clean

Dauphin Island, AL: The Town of Dauphin Island and Mobile Bay National Estuary Program (MBNEP) have partnered to raise awareness about litter blowing from truck beds and boats during this year’s Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo. MBNEP wants to remind anglers that TRASH BLOWS! As part of the CREATE A CLEAN WATER FUTURE Campaign (CCWF), the Trash Blows message will be spread throughout the Island during Rodeo weekend.

  • 3 banners displayed at Billy Goat Hole, across from Ship and Shore, and at Cedar Point.
  • Multiple signage along DIP reminding north and south bound traffic to stow their trash
  • Shuttle service at Billy Goat Hole providing anglers with trash bags and Trash Blows drink huggers
  • Promotional giveaways at the Rodeo site - Create a Clean Water Future and Trash Blows
  • For the first time during the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo, RECYCLING opportunities will be made available to those visiting the Island provided by MBNEP, Thompson Engineering, Earth Resources Recycling, and the City of Dauphin Island    

Visitors coming to the Island from Mobile will pass a string of signs that remind drivers to stow their trash. They’ll then encounter three highly-visible banners emblazoned with a cartoon of trash blowing out of the back of a pick-up truck and boat with the words “Trash Blows…Stow It!” The banners are part of the Create a Clean Water Future public service campaign.

Rodeo participants arriving early each morning to launch their boats will enjoy a free shuttle service staffed by MBNEP and volunteers to quickly return to the launch after parking their vehicles.  Gators provided by the Dauphin Island Sea Lab will be used to ferry the passengers who will be given a trash bag and drink hugger and encouraged to stow their trash while they are out on the water.

Rodeo participants are encouraged to join in on the #TrashBlows social media campaign: take a selfie with all the trash they’ve “stowed,” then post it to Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag “#TrashBlows” They’ll be eligible for special prizes if they come by the Mobile Bay NEP table in the sponsors tent.

Along with the other activities, for the first time during the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo, RECYCLING opportunities will be made available to those visiting the Island. This service is being provided through a collaboration between The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program, Thompson Engineering, Earth Resources Recycling, and the City of Dauphin Island.

About the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program: With a mission to promote the wise stewardship of the water quality and living resource of the Mobile Bay estuary, MBNEP is a non-regulatory organization that works to bring together business interests, governmental interests, citizen groups, non-profits and scientists to tackle big problems related to keeping Mobile Bay and the surrounding creeks and rivers clean and free of pollution.  Due to this collaborative approach measures taken are not only good for the environment, but also good for the local economy with a focus of preserving the area’s unique culture.  

About Create a Clean Water Future: When rain rushes over roofs, roads, and parking lots, it carries everything it touches into storm drains that empty into our streams, rivers, and bays (non-point source pollution). The CCWF public service campaign is designed to explain what stormwater is and to encourage individual actions resulting in the reduction of stormwater pollution at both an individual and community level.  The website provides simple tips we can all incorporate into our day to day lives that contribute to a clean water future by eliminating the following from our storm drains:

  • Litter and plastic debris;
  • Vehicle and household cleaners- old paint, antifreeze, oil, pesticides; and
  • Fertilizer, leaves, and grass clippings;

For more simple tips go to www.cleanwaterfuture.com

Posted on 07/19/18 at 01:21 PM Permalink

AGCRC adopts final Multiyear Implementation Plan

July 16, 2018 – On Friday, July 13, 2018, the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council (Council) adopted Alabama’s final Multiyear Implementation Plan (MIP) and submitted it to the Department of Treasury for review.  Once approved, the Council must submit individual grant applications for each project included in the plan.  Treasury’s review is expected to take 60-90 days.

Read more...

Posted on 07/16/18 at 03:30 PM 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 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