The Landscape

Gulf Frontal

Watershed Size and Location
The Little Lagoon Watershed covers roughly over 8,842 acres and Perdido-Gulf Frontal covers approciamtely 42,000 acres . Due to their location near the Gulf beaches, this watershed complex is highly urbanized as it lies within an earshot of multiple hotels, restaurants, and retail outlets. Total landuse breakdown for Little Lagoon: 68% urban, 12% forest, 12% other, & 8% wetlands. Land use breakdown for Perdido-Gulf Frontal: 25% urban, 2% crop land, 4% pasture land, 33% forest, 29% water/wetlands, 7% other.

Main Tributaries and Tidal Influence
Little Lagoon (HUC 12031401070 205) is fed by Lake Shelby, Little Lake, Middle Lake, and Gator Lake. Little Lagoon itself drains into the Gulf of Meexico. The Little Lagoon Watershed is heavily influenced by the Gulf Of Mexico as it sits a couple hundred feet away from the Gulf. Perdido-Gulf Frontal (HUC 031401070204) contains the lower portion of Wolf Bay, the Intercoastal Waterway, and multiple bayous, sloughs, and waterways immediately adjacent to the Gulf. The watershed is heavily influenced by the Gulf of Mexico.

Water Use Classification and Impairments
Little Lagoon was originally placed on Alabama’s 2006 §303(d) list of impaired waters for pathogens based on data collected by ADEM in 2000. Little Lagoon is currently on the 303(d) list for pathogens (Enterococci) in its entirety. This impairment totals 3.96 square miles of tidally-influenced estuarine ecosystem.

Human Uses
The Little Lagoon watershed is primarily used for swimming, shellfish harvesting, & fish and wildlife. There are nature trails for visititors and Baldwin County natives alike to explore and marvel at thr picturesque wetlands. There is also a pier for those who want to do some fishing and public beach access.

Ecological Importance
These watersheds serve as a nursery for many species of marine fish and invertebrates. A few species of fauna include the North American River Otter (Lontra canadensis), American Alligator(Alligator mississipiensis), the Alligator Gar (Atractosteus spatula), Hardhead Catfish (Ariopsis Felis), and the Great Blue Heron (Ardea Herodias) inhabit this watershed along with numerous other species of flora and fauna. For its small size, in comparison to other watersheds, the blue lagoon watershed supports a plethora of species because of its costal location, being merely a few meters from gulf waters. Multiple T&E species occur within this complex: Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), Wood stork (Mycteria americana), Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus), Red knot (Calidris canutus rufa), Alabama heelsplitter (Potamilus inflatus), Southern clubshell (Pleurobema decisum), Alabama sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus suttkusi), Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi), West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus), Hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), Leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), Kemp's ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), Alabama red-belly turtle (Pseudemys alabamensis), Eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi), Black pine snake (Pituophis melanoleucus lodingi), and the Gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus).