The Planning

Stakeholder Involvement
Stakeholder involvement in the greater Dog River Watershed was important to the development of the Watershed Management Plan (WMP) because it allowed the community to share its aspirations for the future. This is critical to generating a shared understanding about the value of this WMP, informing its priorities, and providing the broad base of support necessary to ensure its implementation. Stakeholder involvement included leadership from a Steering Committee that guided the process from start to finish, input from the general public through stakeholder meetings, a survey, and an open house that took place.

Using the leadership of the greater Dog River WMP Steering Committee, key community members were identified for targeted stakeholder involvement. Because of the size and scale of the greater Dog River Watershed, these targeted stakeholder groups allowed for focused discussion around key topics of importance in the Watershed. On November 11 and 12, 2015, three focus group meetings were conducted with three interest-based groups: Builders, Developers, and Engineers; Recreation Users; and Businesses.

These targeted stakeholders became important distribution points for a community survey.

Mobile County Public Schools
As part of the effort to increase educational awareness around the greater Dog River Watershed, an educational program was designed and implemented in conjunction with the MBNEP and the Mobile County School System. The educational program was created for all high school and middle school students located in the greater Dog River Watershed. The purpose of the educational program was to educate students on the environmental significance of the greater Dog River Watershed and the impact that the community has on it.

Geographical Outreach
Due to the large physical size of the greater Dog River Watershed, additional geographic outreach was conducted. This outreach was focused on distributing information on the greater Dog River Watershed and directing people to complete an online survey. To accomplish this outreach, existing contact networks were leveraged from the Mobile County Commission and the Mobile City Council. Elected officials in both of these municipalities maintain contact lists of constituents for regular communication.
Information regarding the Watershed and the planning effort were placed in the correspondence and emphasis was placed on completing the online survey. Elected officials also shared the Watershed information and online survey on their social media communications.

Map for Mobile-Framework for Growth
The City of Mobile recently adopted the Map for Mobile the City’s comprehensive plan. Through the Map for Mobile planning effort, valuable, additional insight was gained about the general public’s understanding and opinions about the greater Dog River Watershed. This insight is useful to the public participation and education component of this WMP.

Online Survey
In addition to the stakeholder groups, Map for Mobile input, and geographic outreach, the greater Dog River Steering Committee advertised and provided an online survey to stakeholders in the Watershed. During the online survey period of 6 months, multiple outlets were used to advertise and promote the survey to the general public for additional input.

Key Themes
During the stakeholder meetings and online survey period, these key themes were prominently featured from a variety of different perspectives. Ultimately, they all revolve around the significance of improving the Watershed.

  • Conduct proactive education.
  • Take a multifaceted approach to litter.
  • Build connections.
  • Focus on long-term land uses.
  • Improve conditions along the river.
  • Coordinate with partners.
  • Education about the watersheds’ boundaries is needed.