Critcal Issues and Areas
The major challenges facing Three Mile Creek Watershed include:
1. Stormwater: effects of stormwater runoff
2. Wastewater: illicit connections and sanitary sewer outfalls, excessive water quality pollutants, potential groundwater contamination
3. Ecology: abundance of invasive species and aquatic vegetation, altered watershed hydrology and creek geomorphology
4. Access: lack of recreational access to the creek
5. Climate Adaptation: sea level rise
Recommended Management Measures
A list of recommended structural and non-structural BMPs (best management practices) were developed to achieve the goals established for Three Mile Creek which target the primary cause of degradation. There are three types of recommended management measures: non-structural BMPs, structural BMPs, and long-range sustainability project solutions. These recommendations also include enhancing and developing greenways and blueways for public recreation.
Successful implementation of the 44 management measures recommended in the WMP will require the long-term commitment of significant financial resources and community support. Many financial opportunities, primarily federal grants and cooperative agreements, are available to help restore, enhance, and reconnect TMC to its surrounding communities. In recent years, increases in watershed recovery efforts by communities around the nation have significantly increased the competition for these resources. In order to be competative in this environment, the WMP recommends establishing a model Three Mile Creek Partnership (TMCP) representing three primary support sectors: Public (local government), Private (business & industry), Community (place based civic, non-profit). The TMCP can be created as a public-private partnership among the three entities mentioned above, or it could be established through a grassroots effort (e.g., a 501[c] organization). The TMCP would be the coordinating body for all implementation activities specified in the WMP.
Adaptive management is a systematic approach to improving management decisions by gathering information and learning from outcomes to guide future management decisions. This approach focuses on partnerships of stakeholders who together learn how to create and maintain sustainable resource systems. Adaptive management is not possible without effective monitoring. Monitoring assesses watershed responses to management actions to inform better decisions and increase likelihood of success. By tracking implementation of management measures, monitoring programs enable project evaluation in adaptive management. Outcomes of management programs need to be measured for two distinct purposes:
1. To establish performance points (baseline conditions) that can be used to measure progress and establish trends.
2. To trigger change in management direction if performance does not meeting objectives.
Monitoring provides the data from which to test alternatives and measure progress towards accomplishing objectives. Improved decision making justifies the cost of monitoring and assessment in adaptive management. Key activities in the initial implementation cycle include:
1. Develop and implement monitoring plans to assess progress toward goals and objectives,
2. Align monitoring activities with any current stakeholder monitoring programs to the maximum extent possible, and
3. Establish current baseline reference conditions in the watershed to compare to responses after project implementation.
Key activities in successive iteration cycles include:
1. Continue targeted monitoring activities from the prior iterative cycle with approved adjustments, and
2. Review and modify the implemented monitoring plans as necessary.
Monitoring and Research Studies
- 2016-Flood Control in Toulmins Spring Branch Watershed through LID Practices
- 2016-Water Quality Report for Toulmins Spring Branch Watershed
- Prichard Drainage Study: Toulmins Spring Branch and Gum Tree Branch
- Three Mile Creek Data Collected
- Three Mile Creek Impaired Waterbodies (303d List)
- Three Mile Creek Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL)
- Three Mile Creek Stormwater Outfall Inventory
- Impervious Surface Study 2004
- Mobile Tensaw Delta Assessment of Sediment Contamination: Rangia Study 2005
- Toulmins Spring Branch Stormwater Management Study - Maharam Dukua : Maharam Dakua served in Mobile, Alabama as part of the U.S. State Department’s Community Solutions Program. For the past four-months, Maharam joined an Auburn University team hired by MBNEP to work in the Toulminville area of the Three-Mile Creek Watershed. This project aimed at developing a model to help Mobile County and city planners make science based decisions related to capital improvement budgets for infrastructure maintenance. His primary role was to learn about community concerns related to flooding and water pollution by engaging the residents in learning about best practices for managing and reducing water volumes and other sources of pollution. Maharam created a presentation to reflect his work within the Toulmins Spring Branch of the Three Mile Creek Watershed.