The Bayou La Batre/Mississippi Sound Draft Watershed Management Plan has been released for public comment. The comment period will end on October 15, 2018. All comments should be emailed to Christian Miller, firstname.lastname@example.org
Five-Year Update to Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for Alabama’s Estuaries and Coast
Over 150 key stakeholders and decision makers to attend workshop guiding sound environmental management along the Alabama coast
Mobile, AL: The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program and Executive Committee Co-Chair Chris Blankenship, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, will welcome federal, state, and local agencies, academia, industry, elected officials, and non-profits to a workshop to finalize a five-year update to Respect the Connect: A Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan 2013-2018. U.S. Congressman Bradley Byrne will provide closing comments.
The-invitation only meeting will take place on Thursday, August 30, 2018 from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center in Mobile, Al. The purpose of the gathering is to ensure that strategies for measuring estuary status and trends, restoring and protecting critical ecosystems, building community capacity, and expanding citizen stewardship resonate with the community, and are both achievable and science-based.
The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program will facilitate this consensus-building and collaborative decision-making process to protect and restore the water quality and ecological integrity of Alabama’s estuarine systems. The workshop will consist of six sessions with roundtable discussions related to Access, Fish and Wildlife, Beaches and Shorelines, Heritage and Culture, Community Resilience, and Water Quality.
Dauphin Island Documentary Revealed as Official Selection of Sidewalk Film Festival
The Flight of the Frigate Bird to be screened with other Environmental Documentary Short Films
Birmingham, AL: The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program (MBNEP) is pleased to announce the inclusion of The Flight of the Frigate Bird – An Omen of Rising Seas documentary as an official selection in the Environmental Shorts category at The Sidewalk Film Festival to be held later this month in Birmingham, Alabama.
Dauphin Island attracts visitors from across the country to experience the laid-back atmosphere, world-class birding, miles of open white beaches, and stunning sunsets. As large storms and rising seas threaten the future of the Island, The Flight of The Frigate Bird tells the stories of generations of Islanders who have adapted to the ever-changing landscape of barrier island life. Based on their experience, they knew to preserve the dunes, forests, and marshes because of the protection they provided from hurricanes and storm-surge. They also avoided building directly on the beach because of how vulnerable those areas were to storms and erosion.
As development boomed after a bridge was built to the Island in the 1950s, many of the tenants of islanders who had lived on the barrier island for generations were ignored Now the community is faced with daunting decisions about how to best adapt to an eroding shoreline, rising seas, and larger storms while protecting the whole tourism industry and the tax-base it provides.
Narrated by Shelby Lynne, the film features interviews with area residents, public officials, and scientists about the history of the Island, it’s current challenges and future.
Founded in 1995, Mobile Bay National Estuary Program is a non-regulatory program tasked with promoting the wise stewardship of the water quality characteristics and living resource base of the Mobile Bay estuarine system by bringing together citizens; local, state, and federal government agencies; businesses and industries; conservation and environmental organizations; and academic institutions to meet the environmental challenges that face the unique and imperiled resources that characterize our coastal estuaries. MBNEP engages these groups in determining how to best treat the Bay, the associated coastal waters, and their surrounding watersheds to ensure their protection and conservation into the future.
Grammy Award winning singer and songwriter, Shelby Lynne, narrates the film. While currently living in Palm Springs, California, Lynne grew up near Dauphin Island and was quick to agree to be part of the project which features her single, “Alabama oh Alabama.”
In her Directorial debut Roberta Swann serves as the executive director of MBNEP but was also executive director on the mixed live action/animated kids films A Redfish Tale and A Redfish Tale 2: “Fish Slap.” The film was produced by videographer Ben Brenner of Cobia Digital who has worked on variety of short films and promotional pieces but is a newcomer to the documentary format.
The Sidewalk Film Festival is celebrating its 20th year in Downtown Birmingham and has been recognized by MovieMaker Magazine as one of the top 25 Festivals in the World and by Time Magazine as one of the Top 10 Festivals for the Rest of Us. Over 200 films are shown during the week-long event and is the premier festival for showcasing Alabama film-makers
The film will be screened at the First Church Birmingham on August 26th at 6:45pm for Sidewalk’s Environmental Shorts session sponsored by Wild & Scenic Film Festival. Tickets can be purchased at sidwalkfest.com
story reported by Fox10 News
Mobile Bay National Estuary Program - Mobile Alabama
For Immediate Release (April 28, 2018)
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.
Watershed Management Coordinator
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 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.
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: email@example.com. 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.
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.
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.