This survey is intended to allow people who work, live, play, and care about the Weeks Bay Watershed to have their voices heard during the planning process. We want to know what you care about most. Your input is important. Please use the link below to take the survey.
Community Input Survey
Survey Press Release
The product to be developed is the Weeks Bay Watershed Management Plan (WBWMP). The watershed includes the Fish River and Magnolia River drainage basins, encompassing an area approximately 27 miles long and 12 miles wide, approximately 150,000 acres. Portions of nine municipalities lie within the Weeks Bay Watershed – Fairhope, Daphne, Spanish Fort, Loxley, Silverhill, Robertsdale, Summerdale, Foley, and Magnolia Springs.
The MBNEP has secured funding to develop the WBWMP and has partnered with the Baldwin County Soil and Water Conservation District (BCSWCD) to develop this plan. This plan will provide a roadmap for restoring or conserving the watershed and improving water and habitat quality. This plan will chart a conceptual course for improving/protecting the things people value most about living along the Alabama coast, as identified in the MBNEP’s 2013 – 2018 Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan (CCMP), Water Quality, Fish, Environmental Health and Resiliency, Access, Culture and Heritage, and Beaches and Shorelines.
In addition to the six values identified above, the plan will provide a strategy for conserving and restoring coastal habitat types providing critical ecosystem services and identified by the MBNEP’s Science Advisory Committee as most threatened by anthropogenic stressors. These habitat types- freshwater wetlands; streams, rivers and riparian buffers; and intertidal marshes and flats, were classified as most stressed from dredging and filling, fragmentation, and sedimentation, all related to land use change. These habitats and the ecosystem services they provide are related to many, if not each, of the six identified values.
January 2016: Identify and recruit approximately 25 members of the WMP Stakeholder Working Group (SWG) to represent various constituency groups such as city/county government, mayors/elected officials, state/federal government, agriculture/forestry, business and developers, environmental, and homeowners.
February 2016: Hold WMP Stakeholder Working Group (SWG) planning meetings on February 3rd and 17th for a major watershed planning stakeholder engagement workshop. SWG members each personally invite 5-15 participants to assure attendance in each stakeholder constituency group.
March 2, 2016: Stakeholder engagement and visioning workshop (85 people). Breakout groups with facilitators and note-takers for small groups with similar goals, e.g., farmers, environmental group leaders, developers, businesses, elected officials, homeowners, scientists, engineers, and city/county staff members. Each group identified the Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) of the watershed plus developed an action plan for next steps (what, when, who). Each stakeholder group then shared key issues and action plans with the entire workshop group.
March 2016: WMP Stakeholder Working Group (SWG) meeting on March 16th discussed what we learned from the workshop. Following this, the Thompson consultant team and BCSWCD/MBNEP considers the input, decides if and how the watershed planning process should be adjusted to include the vision.
April 2016 – March 2017:
a.SWG meets bi-monthly for updates from members and the project team
b.Public input is collected via the MBNEP website
c.Present Draft WMP and solicit community input in public meetings. Edit plan based on community input received.
d.Present Final WMP, implementation schedule, milestones, monitoring, and opportunities for continued community engagement, including discussion of the regulatory framework governing the plan.
After March 2017: Permanent Leadership Team continues to meet quarterly to monitor/help the implementation process