Our History

Our history

Mobile Bay and its Estuary are national and state treasures.

Frequently compared to South America’s Amazon region, the area is fed by—the fourth largest river system in the United States—its Delta—the most biologically diverse in the country—is home to more than a thousand species of animals.

The health of the Bay and Estuary are deeply interconnected to the health of our community and to our economy.

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 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 the Bay and the Estuary for its 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 community. 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.

For a snapshot of more of MBNEP’s work for Coastal Alabama, go to: https://www.mobilebaynep.com/what-we-do/accomplishments