On July 11, 2019, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed into law a bill to broaden the state’s definition of litter and increase fines and enforcement capabilities. This state-wide legislation is supported by the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program (MBNEP) Government Networks Committee. MBNEP recently collaborated with partners to implement comprehensive litter mitigation strategies recommended in the Three Mile Creek coastal watershed management plan.
The Mobile Bay NEP is currently working on a multi-phase litter abatement project in the watershed. This project includes (1) deploying and maintaining 10 “Litter Gitter” small stream litter collection devices; (2) developing litter profiles at each site using the EPA’s Escaped Trash Assessment Protocol (ETAP); (3) conducting single pass tactical cleanups of shoreline throughout the watershed; (4) developing a web-based publicly available litter collection/ETAP reporting system; and (5) creating an alternative packaging program in the Three Mile Creek Watershed. To date, the Three Mile Creek Trash-Free Waters project has removed 7,963 lbs (5,085 cubic feet) of litter, exceeding the overall project goal of 4,800 lbs. Of the waste collected, 1,475 lbs (1,274 cubic feet) of the material has been recycled. —Romell Nandi, Nandi.Romell@epa.gov