Ecosystem Restoration and Protection

Ecosystem restoration refers to returning a damaged ecological system to a stable, healthy, and sustainable state. Although it may be impossible to return an ecosystem to the exact same condition as prior to its degradation, restoration to improve ecosystem function and services will contribute to community health and well-being, protect against sea level rise, provide recreational opportunities, and ensure economic sustainability and community quality of life.

To ensure all restoration efforts are based in science and are part of an overall management program, the Project Implementation Committee (PIC) has adopted a strategy that comprehensive watershed planning. All watershed plans are be based on US EPA guidance and identify opportunities for protecting what is most valued about living along the Alabama coast: Access, Shorelines, Fish and Wildlife, Heritage and Culture, Environmental and Community Capacity, and Water Quality.

A priority of watershed planning is to identify restoration, protection, and conservation opportunities or projects for the three most stressed habitats: freshwater wetlands; streams, river, and riparian buffers; and intertidal marshes and flats; and address impacts related to changing climates and sea level rise.