Two New Additions to the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program


Two New Additions to the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program

The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program (MBNEP) announces the hiring of Sherry-Lea Bloodworth Botop to serve as Deputy Director of the program and Katie Dylewksi as Project Manager.  Bloodworth Botop has served as Director of Economic and Community Development for the City of Fairhope since 2017.  Dylewski graduated from Auburn University with a M.S. in Horticulture and was employed by the University for five years. 

Bloodworth Botop returned to the Alabama Gulf Coast in 2017 from Washington D.C. where she led the national foundation for the American Institute of Architects.  She served on the first White House Innovation team under the president’s Climate Action Plan and from this work was selected to participate in Harvard University’s National Preparedness Leadership Initiative which she completed in 2015.  She received the Points of Light Award for her recovery and rebuilding efforts following Hurricane Katrina. 

“I look forward to working with Sherry-Lea in partnership with MBNEP. She is one of the most positive, collaborative people I’ve worked with”. Mayor Karin Wilson of Fairhope

Katie comes to the MBNEP having played a key role in developing the Low Impact Development Handbook for the State of Alabama and the Alabama Smart Yards Program.  Her experience with watershed management planning, grant writing, teaching workshops, and stream restoration will serve her well as she oversees and coordinates restoration projects in both Mobile and Baldwin counties. 

“Katie Dylewski brings a wealth of knowledge of watershed education, restoration, and problem solving.  She was a tremendous asset to Alabama Extension Water Team and will hit the ground running to improve, protect, and restore coastal watersheds as a member of the MBNEP team”.  Eve Brantley, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist, Auburn University & Alabama Cooperative Extension System

The MBNEP has grown in recent years and established itself as a leader in watershed planning and restoration initiatives.   “We are excited for Sherry-Lea and Katie to join our team and contribute to building resilient communities through environmental protection efforts recommended in Respect the Connect:  A Comprehensive Conservation & Management Plan for Alabama’s Estuaries and Coast.  Sherry-Lea’s expertise working with local governments and community development and Katie’s field knowledge of plants and low impact development practices will be invaluable in improving how we manage Alabama’s coastal resources”.  Roberta Swann, Director, Mobile Bay National Estuary Program

The mission of the MBNEP is to promote wise stewardship of Alabama’s estuaries and coast. It is a non-regulatory program focused on collective impact by bringing together citizens; local, state, and federal government agencies; businesses and industries; conservation and environmental organizations; and academic institutions to meet the challenges resulting from human impacts on the environment. The MBNEP works with these groups to determine how to best treat the Bay, our associated coastal waters, and their surrounding watersheds to ensure their protection and conservation for our lifetimes and beyond.

Press Release (PDF, 119KB)

Posted on 04/30/19 at 09:13 PM Permalink

Press Release: CCMP Public Comment Period Extended


March 28, 2019

The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program (MBNEP) extends public comment period regarding updates to their five-year Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP)

The Draft Update of the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program’s Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for 2019-2023 was released to the public for a 45-day comment period on February 1, 2019.  At the request of members of the MBENP Management Conference, the comment period has been extended an additional 45 days to allow for further review. A pdf file is available for viewing and downloading on the MBNEP webpage: 2019 RESPECT THE CONNECT: An Updated Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for Alabama’s Estuaries and Coast Draft.  Comments should be directed to Bethany Dickey at by close of business on Friday, May 3, 2019.

In August 2018, the MBNEP hosted a day-long workshop at the Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center to gather input from 178 community leaders and key stakeholders to provide the framework to update Respect the Connect – A Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for Alabama’s Estuaries and Coast 2013-2018. The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, who administers and funds the MBNEP, requires that the CCMP be updated every five years.

The MBNEP, like the other 27 National Estuary Programs, operates through the development and implementation of a CCMP, which serves as a “blueprint” for management of coastal and estuarine resources. A CCMP is developed based on local input and supporting local priorities to protect water quality, sustain living resources, manage coastal habitats, reduce human impacts, and build citizen stewardship. It is developed through a consensus-building and collaborative decision-making process by the MBNEP Management Conference, which includes federal, state, and local officials and agencies; industries; businesses; academia and citizen groups. Management Conference partners commit to roles implementing CCMP Goals, Objectives, and recommended activities to protect and restore the water quality and ecological integrity of Alabama’s coastal waters and coasts.

Through community engagement efforts, MBNEP identified six values of shared importance to our coastal quality of life: Access; Beaches, Dunes, and Shorelines; Fish and Wildlife; Heritage and Culture; Resilience, and Water Quality. Goals and objectives of the CCMP are directed to ensure attention to what people value about living in coastal Alabama. This comment period provides an additional opportunity to have your concerns addressed moving forward for the next five years. The mission of the MBNEP is to provide the tools and support community-based efforts to promote the wise stewardship of the quality and living resources of Alabama’s estuarine waters and coasts. Contact: Rick Frederick  (251) 380-7941.

Download draft: 2019 RESPECT THE CONNECT: An Updated Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for Alabama’s Estuaries and Coast Draft


Posted on 04/02/19 at 12:39 PM Permalink