Eastern Shore Watershed Management Plan draft Open for Public Comment

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MBNEP at Work: Eastern Shore Management Plan Draft Opens for Public Comment

A draft of the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program’s (MBNEP) Eastern Shore Watershed Management Plan (ESWMP) is posted for public review and comment. Citizen feedback, a crucial part of the watershed planning process, is highly encouraged by the MBNEP. During the public comment period, the community is given the opportunity to voice concerns about known issues within the Eastern Shore Watershed as well as an opportunity to prioritize issues of concern and recommend strategies to address them. Comments on the ESWMP are being accepted through Thursday, July 20. Please send comments to the attention of Christian Miller at cmiller@mobilebaynep.com.

The vision of every Watershed Management Plan (WMP) is to identify specific and achievable measures to restore, protect, conserve, and preserve features of the watershed which contribute to the coastal quality of life. As with other MBNEP WMPs, the ESWMP describes current conditions and identifies areas of concern and potential actions to improve conditions.

The Eastern Shore Watershed, located in southwest Baldwin County, Alabama, along the eastern shore of Mobile Bay, encompasses approximately 22,400 acres (35 square miles). Baldwin County has become the seventh fastest growing metropolitan area in the country with a 27.2% population increase from 2010, and a 65% increase since 2000. With that rapid growth, problems related to quality of life, increasing water demand, loss of natural areas, and watershed degradation have arisen. This WMP addresses resulting critical issues and attempts to make recommendations for positive changes.

The critical issues and areas identified by the WMP include development pressures, litter, human health and wellbeing, water quality, habitat loss, environmental health and resilience, and shoreline erosion and sedimentation.

The Plan, funded through from the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (RESTORE Council), is the culmination of work by the MBNEP and Thompson Engineering. Thompson was selected to organize and lead the work of a Planning Team to prepare the ESWMP. Other members of the Planning Team included Environmental Science Associates (ESA) who conducted climate vulnerability and water quality assessments; Barry A. Vittor & Associates, Inc. who conducted the ecological evaluations; and M&R Solutions, LLC and Ephriam and Associates who assisted with stakeholder engagement and outreach.

The mission of the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program is to promote the wise stewardship of Alabama’s estuaries and coast by using the best available science to measure status and trends, restore benefits of healthy ecosystems, build local capacity for environmental management and community resilience, and grow the number of citizen stewards across our region.

To download a copy of the draft plan, please visit:

Eastern Shore Watershed Management Plan Draft

Eastern Shore WMP Appendices

Please send comments to the attention of Christian Miller at cmiller@mobilebaynep.com.