AGCRC releases Draft State Expenditure Plan for 45-day public comment period

October 5, 2018 - Today, the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council (Council) released its Draft State Expenditure Plan (SEP) for a 45-day public comment period.  In a public meeting on March 7, 2018, the Council voted on projects to include in its “Bucket 3” plan.  The Council recently adopted the Draft SEP which, once finalized, will be submitted to the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council for review and approval.  The projects proposed in this plan are all located within the Gulf Coast Region and are consistent with the eligible criteria as stated in the RESTORE Act.

Click here to read more

Posted on 10/05/18 at 03:56 PM Permalink

Wolf Bay Watershed Community Meeting: Join Us October 2nd

Posted on 09/19/18 at 08:50 AM Permalink

Comment period open for Draft Bayou La Batre/Mississippi Sound Watershed Management Plan

The Bayou La Batre/Mississippi Sound Draft Watershed Management Plan has been released for public comment. The comment period will end on October 15, 2018. All comments should be emailed to Christian Miller, cmiller@mobilebaynep.com

Click here to view the Draft Plan

Click here to view the Appendix

Posted on 09/12/18 at 02:29 PM Permalink

Five-Year Update to Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for Alabama’s Estuaries and Coast

Over 150 key stakeholders and decision makers to attend workshop guiding sound environmental management along the Alabama coast

Mobile, AL: The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program and Executive Committee Co-Chair Chris Blankenship, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, will welcome federal, state, and local agencies, academia, industry, elected officials, and non-profits to a workshop to finalize a five-year update to Respect the Connect: A Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan 2013-2018.  U.S. Congressman Bradley Byrne will provide closing comments.

The-invitation only meeting will take place on Thursday, August 30, 2018 from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center in Mobile, Al.  The purpose of the gathering is to ensure that strategies for measuring estuary status and trends, restoring and protecting critical ecosystems, building community capacity, and expanding citizen stewardship resonate with the community, and are both achievable and science-based.

The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program will facilitate this consensus-building and collaborative decision-making process to protect and restore the water quality and ecological integrity of Alabama’s estuarine systems.  The workshop will consist of six sessions with roundtable discussions related to Access, Fish and Wildlife, Beaches and Shorelines, Heritage and Culture, Community Resilience, and Water Quality.

Event Sponsors:  Alabama State Port Authority, Manufacture Alabama, Alabama Pulp & Paper Council, Goodwyn Mills and Cawood, Osprey Initiative, LLC, Thompson Engineering

Posted on 08/29/18 at 05:23 PM Permalink

Flight of The Frigate Bird film to be Shown at Sidewalk Film Festival

 

Dauphin Island Documentary Revealed as Official Selection of Sidewalk Film Festival

The Flight of the Frigate Bird to be screened with other Environmental Documentary Short Films

Birmingham, AL: The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program (MBNEP) is pleased to announce the inclusion of The Flight of the Frigate Bird – An Omen of Rising Seas documentary as an official selection in the Environmental Shorts category at The Sidewalk Film Festival to be held later this month in Birmingham, Alabama.

Aerial shot of the West End of Dauphin Island

Dauphin Island attracts visitors from across the country to experience the laid-back atmosphere, world-class birding, miles of open white beaches, and stunning sunsets. As large storms and rising seas threaten the future of the Island, The Flight of The Frigate Bird tells the stories of generations of Islanders who have adapted to the ever-changing landscape of barrier island life.  Based on their experience, they knew to preserve the dunes, forests, and marshes because of the protection they provided from hurricanes and storm-surge. They also avoided building directly on the beach because of how vulnerable those areas were to storms and erosion.

As development boomed after a bridge was built to the Island in the 1950s, many of the tenants of islanders who had lived on the barrier island for generations were ignored  Now the community is faced with daunting decisions about how to best adapt to an eroding shoreline, rising seas, and larger storms while protecting the whole tourism industry and the tax-base it provides.

Narrated by Shelby Lynne, the film features interviews with area residents, public officials, and scientists about the history of the Island, it’s current challenges and future.

Flooded Street on Dauphin Island

Founded in 1995, Mobile Bay National Estuary Program is a non-regulatory program tasked with promoting the wise stewardship of the water quality characteristics and living resource base of the Mobile Bay estuarine system by bringing together citizens; local, state, and federal government agencies; businesses and industries; conservation and environmental organizations; and academic institutions to meet the environmental challenges that face the unique and imperiled resources that characterize our coastal estuaries. MBNEP engages these groups in determining how to best treat the Bay, the associated coastal waters, and their surrounding watersheds to ensure their protection and conservation into the future.

Grammy Award winning singer and songwriter, Shelby Lynne, narrates the film. While currently living in Palm Springs, California, Lynne grew up near Dauphin Island and was quick to agree to be part of the project which features her single, “Alabama oh Alabama.”

In her Directorial debut Roberta Swann serves as the executive director of MBNEP but was also executive director on the mixed live action/animated kids films A Redfish Tale and A Redfish Tale 2: “Fish Slap.”  The film was produced by videographer Ben Brenner of Cobia Digital who has worked on variety of short films and promotional pieces but is a newcomer to the documentary format.

The Sidewalk Film Festival is celebrating its 20th year in Downtown Birmingham and has been recognized by MovieMaker Magazine as one of the top 25 Festivals in the World and by Time Magazine as one of the Top 10 Festivals for the Rest of Us.  Over 200 films are shown during the week-long event and is the premier festival for showcasing Alabama film-makers

The film will be screened at the First Church Birmingham on August 26th at 6:45pm for Sidewalk’s Environmental Shorts session sponsored by Wild & Scenic Film Festival. Tickets can be purchased at sidwalkfest.com

www.flightofthefrigatebird.com

Posted on 08/22/18 at 06:59 PM Permalink

Stormwater fee approved by Mobile City Council

Stormwater fee approved by Mobile City Council

story reported by Fox10 News

Posted on 08/22/18 at 08:11 AM Permalink

Area Mayors Tour Stream Restoration

Daphne, AL: Mobile Mayor, Sandy Stimpson,  Daphne Mayor, Dane Haygood and Baldwin County republican nominees for county commissioner, Billie Jo Underwood, Jeb Ball, and Joe Davis along with key staff members from both Mobile, Daphne and Baldwin County to tour ongoing and completed stormwater management and stream restoration projects in and around Daphne, Thursday, July 26th.

Mobile Bay National Estuary Program (MBNEP), Executive Director, Roberta Swann hosted the tour to demonstrate how MBNEP has successfully worked on behalf of multiple stakeholders, the City of Daphne, the City of Spanish Fort, and Baldwin County to implement stormwater management and stream restoration projects in the D'Olive watershed.  The goal is to foster collaborations with all the various stakeholders and local governmental bodies to implement similar projects in the future. 

Since the release of the D’Olive Watershed Management Plan in 2010, MBNEP has helped Daphne leverage funding resulting in an excess of $12 Million of restoration projects in the watershed. Restoration began in response to concerns about the excessive sedimentation of Lake Forest Lake and D’Olive Bay.  Extensive monitoring was performed to determine the origins of the sediment pollution resulting in a list of multiple areas that were in emergency need of restoration.

At the top of the list of problem areas was a head-cut on an unnamed tributary of Joe’s Branch that was dangerously close to damaging Highway 31 in Spanish Fort.  Through funding from the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) and Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), a step-pool stormwater conveyance was built as a balance between creating a stormwater facility that could handle excessive flow with the desire to restore ecological function.

Since the Joe’s Branch restoration MBNEP has worked with Daphne and Spanish Fort to improve eight other areas in the watershed that were significant contributors to sediment pollution.  These projects included funding from the NFWF Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund a result of the BP Oil Spill.

As RESTORE and other funding becomes available, MBNEP hopes to highlight the successes in Daphne as a model for other stormwater problem areas in Mobile and Baldwin Counties as highlighted in the additional watershed management plans that MBNEP has published over the last 5 years.

Addressing these stormwater issues requires collaboration between multiple governments, stakeholder groups, partners, agencies, and funding sources. As an independent intermediary, MBNEP has a track-record of bringing these various parties to the table, come to a consensus and make progress on issues related to stormwater and pollution.

Posted on 07/25/18 at 05:17 PM Permalink

Launch of 3MC Partnership

3MC held a public announcement of the Private/Public partnership to support the development of the Mobile Greenway Trail.

3MC Partnership is a coalition of volunteers working to bring people together around the vision of creating a transformational corridor of renewal in the Three Mile Creek watershed in Mobile, AL. 3MC Partnership works  with the City of Mobile and private sector stakeholders to support the development of the Mobile Greenway Trail and amenities, neighborhood renewal and development in the Three Mile Creek corridor, and the creation of a more usable waterway through the environmental restoration of Three Mile Creek. 

Vision: Create a transformational corridor of renewal in the Three Mile Creek watershed.

Leadership

  • Mike Rogers, Chairman
  • Warren Greene, Vice Chairman
  • Jacquitta Powell Green, At Large
  • Chris Lee, At Large
  • Michelle Rumpf, At Large
  • Bill Sisson, At Large
  • Sarah Stashak, Fundraising
  • Roberta Swann, Watershed Restoration

Visit their website for more info

Posted on 05/09/18 at 05:28 PM Permalink

ALDOT Three Mile Creek Grant

The Alabama Department of Transportation is awarding the City of Mobile $555,092 to lengthen the existing Three Mile Creek Greenway westward to the University of South Alabama Medical Center, the city announced Friday.

Posted on 04/27/18 at 05:37 PM Permalink

$300,000 Award for Watershed Protection from U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities

Mobile Bay National Estuary Program - Mobile Alabama
For Immediate Release (April 28, 2018)

Atlas area in Alabama and Tombigbee Watersheds

The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program has been awarded a grant of $300,000 over two years by the Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program managed by U. S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities with additional funding by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

The project’s goal is to advance strategic protection of healthy habitat parcels in Mobile-Tombigbee (HUC 0315), and Alabama River (HUC 0316) basins through the development of a Mobile Basin Habitat Atlas identifying healthy headwater habitat parcels in Alabama. The goal of the atlas is to protect over 10,000 acres of priority headwater habitats in the first year and a total of 100,000 acres in five to ten years.

The $300,000 awarded to Mobile Bay National Estuary Program represents an important start for their focus on the Tensaw/Apalachee watershed management planning due to begin this year.

Watershed Management Planning is a key tool MBNEP uses to fulfil its mission to be good stewards of Alabama's estuaries. The resulting plan is an important first steps in preserving water quality in our area's streams, rivers, and wetlands and depends on public involvement and “stakeholders” who know the area, recognize its problems, and are invested in its health and resilience. Each plan includes a watershed description that educates communities about the geography, geology, biology, ecology, and hydrology of the drainage area’s land and water. It identifies causes and/or sources of pollution or impairment, identifies gaps in data related to watershed conditions, and estimates pollutant loads that enter the receiving waters.

Mobile Bay NEP has completed Watershed Management Plans for D’Olive Creek, Three Mile Creek, Fowl River, Bon Secour, Weeks Bay, and Dog River. The Mississippi Sound Complex plan is under development, and Wolf Bay and Tensaw Appalache watersheds are next in line with the goal of completing all intertidal watersheds in coastal Alabama in the next few years.

In its third year, the Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program is awarding 22 grants with more than $4 million to protect America’s watersheds with the goal of accelerating and expanding the strategic protection of healthy, freshwater ecosystems and their watersheds. EPA and The Endowment each committed $3.75 million and NRCS $3.5 million, to the six year partnership. In this third year of the program, 76 applications requesting $14 million were received.  This is the first Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant received by the MBNEP.

Posted on 04/26/18 at 02:22 PM Permalink