The Planning

During the planning process, the following subsets of stakeholders were identified, and specific outreach programs were designed for each stakeholder subset.

The General Public: To reach the various ethnic groups within the Watershed, materials were developed and printed in four languages. (English, Cambodian, Laotian, and Vietnamese)

The Business Community: This group was reach effectively through one-on-one sessions. (Chamber of Commerce, Seafood Related Businesses, Boat/shipbuilding Businesses, Other Businesses)

Traditional Farmers: These are small farmers for whom farming is a supplement to a salaried and more dependable income. The WMP Team worked with the Mobile County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Natural Resource Conservation Services to reach these stakeholders.

Elected Officials (local): The WMP Team met with the Mayor of BLB and individual BLB City Council members to brief them on the progress of the watershed study. Presentations or progress reports were delivered at several BLB City Council planning sessions and regularly scheduled meetings.

Students: The WMP Team collaborated with the City of Bayou La Batre to facilitate the delivery of marine debris and water quality education programs in Grand Bay Middle School, Alba Middle School, and Alma Bryant High School.

A BLB Watershed Steering Committee was created and quickly became the engine behind the watershed study. The Steering Committee was made up of members from all major community subsets, as well as from key resource agencies.

Meeting formats were adapted to meet the interest and educational levels of the primary audiences. In general, an agenda was prepared and distributed; information was shared with the audiences, open discussion was encouraged, questions were addressed, and stakeholder surveys were completed and collected. Most public meetings lasted one hour to an hour and a half. Every effort was made to engage the audiences and encourage feedback including native language interpreters when needed.

Numerous community outreach meetings were held to engage the public in the watershed planning process. There were a total of twelve (12) community meetings held between May 2015 and September 2016; sixty-five (65) one-on-one sessions; and twenty (20) additional public outreach activities held during the planning process.

Survey responses obtained from stakeholders were collated and the results reflect the depth of understanding among stakeholders that protecting the quality of the Watershed is intrinsically tied to protecting the local culture and economy. A combination of responses to (a) Improved water quality, (b) Protecting wetland habitats and (c) Preservation of natural sites represents 46% of all stakeholder primary concerns.


Areas of Primary Concern to Stakeholders