Out for Public Comment: Weeks Bay Watershed Management Plan, Draft

For immediate release:

August 2, 2017
Mobile Bay National Estuary Program www.mobilebaynep.com  

A draft Weeks Bay Watershed Management Plan is available for public comment through 5 pm Thursday, August 31st.

The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program (MBNEP) is seeking public input to help finalize the Plan. The MBNEP contracted with Thompson Engineering to oversee development of the plan, and identify projects to be considered for funding to improve the quality of the watershed in the face of increased population and business growth in Baldwin County.

This watershed is extremely large: approximately 12 miles wide and 27 miles long. Its headwaters begins in the Golden Triangle area north of I-10 and concludes where Weeks Bay empties into Mobile Bay. It includes the planning jurisdictions of nine municipalities and is home to countless subdivisions and businesses.

The good news is that the Weeks Bay Watershed – and especially Fish River – has been studied by scientists for numerous years. There are even computer simulation models of the watershed that will accurately predict outcomes if a new subdivision is added or changes occur in the way a property is farmed. 

The Thompson team took the past research, added very specific current research – and a lot of stakeholder input – and developed a current report card and a forecast of what the watershed might look like in 2040 under different population growth scenarios.

The final step in the process is to obtain public input on the draft Plan. We are doing that in four ways:

  1. A Stakeholder Work Group with representatives of every type of stakeholder – homeowners, farmers, developers, environmental group leaders, businesses, municipalities, county government, utilities – have worked with the team throughout the process. Many have volunteered to stay on as the Plan moves into the implementation phase.
  2. A public input workshop will be held on Wednesday, August 16, 2017, from 8:30 – noon in the auditorium in the Baldwin County Central Annex, 22251 Palmer Street, Robertsdale. Because of space limitations and the workshop format, you must preregister by 5 pm Monday, August 14. You can do this with a short email to bob@rjhiggins.com.
  3. A copy of the draft plan is posted online here: http://www.mobilebaynep.com/the_watersheds/weeks_bay_watershed/
  4. Paper copies of the plan can be reviewed at these locations:
    1. Weeks Bay Reserve, US 98
    2. Spanish Fort Public Library, 7361 Spanish Fort Blvd
    3. Foley Community Department office, 200 N Alston Street
    4. Fairhope Utilities office, 555 South Section St
    5. Baldwin County Highway Department, 3rd Floor, Central Annex II, Robertsdale

Please send your comments on the Plan by August 31, 2017 to Mike Eubanks at meubanks@thompsonengineering.com or mail to Mike Eubanks, Thompson Engineering, Inc., 2970 Cottage Hill Road, Suite 190, Mobile, AL  36606.

For more information on our watersheds, go to www.mobilebaynep.com

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Posted on 08/02/17 at 03:39 PM Permalink