Who We Are

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MBNEP works to ensure the wise care and stewardship of the waters of Coastal Alabama, its fish and wildlife, and all the natural resources that exist here.

In 1987, Congress established the National Estuary Program (NEP) under a provision of the Clean Water Act. Across the country, individual NEPs are place-based, which means they focus only on restoring and protecting their own estuaries and watersheds.

The MBNEP—the NEP for all of Coastal Alabama—has been restoring and protecting Coastal Alabama since its establishment in 1995.

Like all NEPs, the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program is non-regulatory. That means we work collaboratively to protect and restore Alabama’s Bays and Estuaries for our people, fish, and wildlife.

We don’t tell people what to do. We offer plans and solutions for the very best stewardship of our natural resources.

We’re locally run. MBNEP functions under a unique governance structure called a Management Conference that gives local partners a principal voice in the decision-making process.

We’re grounded in science and best practices. Each National Estuary Program develops and implements its own Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP), which are —scientific blueprints—long-term plans—containing specific actions to address water quality and living resource challenges and priorities in each NEP program area.

We deliver for our State and our communities. We manage large scale restorations. We help eradicate invasive species. We return ecosystems to health, protect shorelines, and help clean waterways of litter.

If you live, work, play, or travel in Coastal Alabama, you have a vested interest in the work we do.


Guiding Principles


Those who live it know it.

Citizens, anglers, boaters, scientists, hunters, and others have a unique insight into the environmental challenges we face, what works, and what doesn’t. Stakeholder input is vital to developing long-term solutions to local challenges.

Economic opportunities must be encouraged and protected.

Our coast is an economic engine, creating significant wealth for our State each year through activities such as trade through the Port of Mobile, recreational and commercial fishing, tourism, hunting, and coastal construction. Much of the economy of Coastal Alabama depends on the quality of our waters, healthy populations of fish and wildlife, and a mosaic of habitats that provide essential natural functions.

Environmental stewardship is interconnected.

Residents, towns, cities, counties, businesses, industries, academia, community developers, and social services all have vested interests in preserving the quality of life derived from Alabama’s estuaries and coast. Coalitions that bring together a diversity of interests are critical to addressing the challenges of balancing economic development with conservation of our outdoor way of life.

It happens in the river, in the sea, and on the street.

Involvement of citizens in carrying out activities aimed at improving our estuaries, bays, and surrounding watersheds is crucial to protecting the long-term health and vitality of Alabama’s estuaries and coast. Citizens must be actively engaged in balancing the many uses of our coastal waters so we can preserve these unique natural resources. We make sure they are.