USA Geology Class visiting D'Olive Creek


Since the 1970s, increased volume and velocity from stormwater runoff and changes to local drainage patterns have plagued the D’Olive Creek Watershed and the receiving waters of Mobile Bay. Excessive erosion and sedimentation due to ongoing urban development continues to intensify the problem. Finally, measures are in place addressing the issue and Dr. Alex Beebe and his students want to see the results. Dr. Beebe, Assistant Professor of Geology with the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of South Alabama and his Geology students will visit Joe’s Branch subwatershed this Monday, March 9th to view the ongoing restoration activities.

With immediate threats to Highway 31 and Westminster Village residences, the need for emergency stream restoration on severely degraded Joe’s Branch was recognized and addressed beginning in 2012. The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program contracted with Thompson Engineering to prepare and implement a cutting-edge technology called Regenerative Step Pool Storm Conveyance. This award winning methodology involves filling the gully to flush with a mixture of sand and saw dust and installing a series of rock step pools down the impacted stream to slow velocity and promote infiltration of the stormwater runoff underlying the stream degradation. The scope of work includes restoration of downstream wetlands impacted by sediments that resulted from degradation of the stream banks. The project also includes utilization of upstream best management practices to decrease stormwater runoff and performed admirably during the April 2014 floods.

To learn more about the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program and watershed restoration call (251) 380-7941 or visit