AM/NS Calvert Volunteers Pulled Hundreds of Privet Seedlings along Three Mile Creek | Photo by MBNEP
Mobile Bay National Estuary Program is partnering with volunteers from the Associates Program at AM/NS Calvert to address the invasive species problem in the Three Mile Creek Watershed. February 14th, they were out on The University of South Alabama's campus to pull up Chinese privet seedlings.
This area was identified because the privet here is small enough to hand pull, and we wanted to tackle the issue now before it becomes a major problem. If unchecked the area could become a privet “monoculture,” choking out all the native plant species which belong there.
Privet, Or Ligustrum, was introduced to the country by the landscaping industry in 1852 for use as an ornamental shrub. It's now a big concern for some of the same reasons it was so popular back then! It is vigorous and adapted to grows really well in both wet and dry conditions. One of the biggest problems is when birds eat the berries, their droppings provide a perfect matrix for germination and growth. As the seeds are dispersed, new saplings are generated potentially miles away from the source.
The area where we are working has a well-established native plant community including sweetbay magnolia, Virginia sweetspire, and laurel cherry. Without having to compete with invasives, natives will thrive and enhance the entire ecosystem, which depends on the food, habitat, and other services they provide.
MBNEP is very grateful to AM/NS Calvert stewards for their long-term commitment to the environment and for committing to spend one day a month volunteering as an important part of the much larger effort to manage invasive species within the watershed.
We are in need of volunteer groups to help with a variety of programs. If your group or team is interested in protecting and restoring our area waters, please get in touch with us!
THREE MILE CREEK WATERSHED
Invasive Species Control Plan
Download Report (PDF, 8.9MB)
Three Mile Creek is a tributary of the Mobile River and drains approximately 30.1 sq. mi. through a mix of residential, commercial, industrial, and undeveloped sections of Mobile and Prichard, Alabama. The area includes habitat-rich wooded wetlands supporting a broad diversity of freshwater, estuarine, and marine species, along with highly urbanized areas.
Competition among species is a natural part of any ecosystem, but introduction of exotic species can disrupt intricate balances and relationships evolved over thousands of years among native species and their communities. These invasions often cause a loss of biological diversity within both the plant and animal communities (Vitousek 1990). To prevent this loss of biological diversity and improve water quality, Mobile Bay National Estuary Program requested development of an Invasive Species Control Plan for the Watershed.
The purpose of this Invasive Species Control Plan is to remove or control invasive plant and animal species within the Three Mile Creek Watershed, based upon available and survey data.
In order to provide a quantitative evaluation of invasive species within the Three Mile Creek Watershed, the Team used a plot-based sampling design to document invasive and native species and their locations within major waterway corridors. Spring and fall field surveys were completed to coincide with peak visibility of target species and to maximize positive identification through flowers or other diagnostic features.
The surveyed waterways included the entire run of the main channel of Three Mile Creek, extending from its headwaters downstream to approximately 1 km from the confluence with the Mobile River. A total of 368 sites were sample and equaled an area of 304,200 m2 (75.2 acres), or approximately 9.3% of the riparian area of the Three Mile Creek Watershed (810 acres).
From the survey, a total of 43 invasive plant species and two invasive animal species were quantified within the Three Mile Creek Watershed during the two sampling events. The five invasive plant species most frequently observed in the plots on a presence/absence basis were Chinese tallow tree, alligatorweed, Chinese privet, cogongrass, and Japanese climbing fern. The most prevalent invasive animal observed was the island apple snail.
From this data, watershed-wide and species-specific control applications were developed to control invasive species within the Three Mile Creek Watershed. The plan is broken into eight key areas for implementation and should be followed as listed below.
- Obtain access to large parcels within the Watershed for invasive control efforts
- Strategy 1. Manage and protect existing intact native communities
- Strategy 2. Target high or moderate density non-native invasive communities
- Strategy 3. Continue and expand island apple snail removals
- Use budgeting tool and species location maps to prioritize site selection
- Reestablish native plant communities in riparian areas
- Continue monitoring the Watershed to detect new invasive species while they are present in low numbers
- Conduct community outreach regarding invasive species detection and control
Download Full Report (PDF, 8.9MB)
REALITY CHECK: The difference Mobile's litter patrol is making
Angela Pompey May, is making a big impact with the City of Mobile, supervising The Litter Crew. We first met Angela in 2011 as we planned Clean the Bottom. She was our educator, with a real familiarity of the topic and areas effected, making us laugh and keeping us on target while planning this event.
Read more about Mobile's Litter Patrol on MyNBC.com
The City of Mobile invites you to the Three Mile Creek Greenway Community Listening Sessions held on Tuesday, January 29, Wednesday, January 30, or Thursday, January 31 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
Make plans to attend and review the Conceptual Design Plan for the Greenway Trail design presented as part of the Community Listening Sessions. You are invited to actively engage and voice your opinion on the design components of the Three Mile Creek Greenway. Don't miss your opportunity to share your ideas - reserve your spot now! Reservations encouraged, but not required. Everyone is invited!
Tuesday, January 29
Dumas Wesley Community Center
126 Mobile Street
4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Wednesday, January 30
Mobile Museum of Art
4850 Museum Dr
4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Thursday, January 31
Ashland Place United Methodist Church
115 Wisteria Ave
4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
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.
- 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
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.