Management Conference

Copy of Management Conference Structure

*The Dauphin Island Sea Lab is the administrative host organization for the MBNEP and sits on the Science Advisory Committee

**The Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources along with an EPA representative are Co-Chairs of the Executive Committee

The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program is governed by a unique structure known as a Management Conference that serves as a platform for collective improvement and local control of the natural resource management of our Coast.

The Management Conference is composed of six groups of stakeholders and experts: the Science Advisory, Government Networks, Business Resources, Project Implementation, Community Action, and Finance Committees. The six committees are overseen by the Executive Committee, made up of leaders from each of the main committees as well as from the US EPA and three at-large members. The Executive Committee develops policies on issues and funding, reviews/approves work plans and budgets, and sets financial goals for non-federal funding.

The Executive Committee

The purpose of this committee is to provide general guidance, direction, and support for the program. The Committee develops policies on issues and funding; Reviews/Approves work plans; sets financial goals for non-federal share obligation required to match EPA funds received (Finance Committee); and provides a platform for vetting emerging environmental issues from a variety of perspectives. The Executive Committee is made up of at least 15 members, including the Marine Environmental Science Consortium/Dauphin Island Sea Lab Director, federal and state agency director or designees, Management Conference committee chairs, and at least three at-large members identified by staff recommendations.

The Government Networks Committee

The Government Networks Committee brings together local and state officials to collaborate on addressing local issues in natural resource management. Issues include stormwater management, providing public access to waterways, and protecting the environment while building a thriving economy. The Committee also helps educate people about how different government agencies work and how to find ways to partner to make positive change. Additionally, the Committee identifies tasks and roles for the MBNEP to prioritize within elected government.

The Businesses Resources Committee

The Business Resources Committee brings together leaders from different industries, businesses, and environmental services to identify ways to balance business needs and environmental priorities. The Business Resources Committee aims to find common environmental concerns and potential market-based solutions. The Committee discusses and educates others about how different issues relate to environmental sustainability, such as quality of life, economic opportunity, land management, environmental responsibility, economic prosperity, and natural resource preservation.

The Project Implementation Committee

The Project Implementation Committee has several tasks, which includes assessing the restoration needs of different areas and determining which watershed projects are most important on which to focus. The Committee also uses sediment analysis and watershed planning to guide the restoration activities, while also determining how citizens can provide input.

The Science Advisory Committee

The Science Advisory Committee provides guidance on MBNEP program priority-setting based on scientific understanding of the issues at hand. The SAC recommends monitoring and research activities that inform the development of the status and trends of the estuarine environment. The Committee is made up of scientists, thought leaders, and government agency personnel with expertise in ecosystem health.

The Science Advisory Committee engages in several activities, including developing frameworks and monitoring protocols to measure changes in ecosystem health to assess trends to determine where stresses are most acute in the system. The Committee also develops frameworks and monitoring protocols to measure changes in ecosystem health.

The Science Advisory Committee also supports other areas of the Management Conference by offering technical advice and conducting scientific reviews of issues/activities requested by other committees. Other functions of the Science Advisory Committee include identifying opportunities for public participation and project involvement, as well as assisting in their planning and implementation. Finally, the Science Advisory Committee cooperates with the MBNEP to identify tasks and issues to address.

The Community Action Committee

The Community Action Committee is a group that brings together grassroots organizations, volunteer associations, and place-based representatives to support environmental activities on a local scale. The Committee educates the public about environmental sustainability, including issues like stormwater management, public access, affordable housing, and habitat protection.

The Community Action Committee identifies community resources to help address challenges, as well as educating others on their individual organizational efforts to address issues and sharing new ways to engage communities. The CAC identifies projects and assists with their planning and implementation, including water quality monitoring, habitat conservation, restoration and protection, data management, and public access.

The Finance Committee

The Finance Committee develops local ownership, responsibility, and partnerships for investing in the long-term conservation and protection of Coastal Alabama's estuarine resources. The Committee achieves this by establishing an investment program that combines State, local, and private funding sources to exceed the non-federal share requirements of the EPA grant and other external funding awards.