Everything You Need to Know Before the Mobile Harbor Meeting

Everything You Need to Know Before the Mobile Harbor Meeting

 

When: Thursday, September 14 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Where: Bayou La Batre Community Center

If you’re invested in the future of Mobile Bay, we strongly encourage you to attend the upcoming Mobile Harbor Meeting. Hosted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), this open house will show proposed plans to deepen and widen the ship channel. You’ll have the chance to listen to project updates, ask questions, and submit comments your own comments.

These plans could have significant impacts on our natural resources. In Coastal Alabama, we’re a community that depends on these resources to maintain a healthy environment, economy, and community. Therefore, your involvement in this study is vital to ensure all impacts are evaluated and our environment is protected as we continue to grow.

Below are a few major concerns we have expressed to the Corps:

1. Shoreline Impacts to both sides of Mobile Bay and Dauphin Island.

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Our shorelines provide us with so much - protection against storm surge, beautiful waterfront homes, sandy beaches, wildlife nesting and habitat areas, and more.. Deepening and widening the Harbor could mean larger and more frequent boat wake of ships and increased need for dredging. Both of these activities can erode shorelines. Being in the midst of an active Hurricane season should remind us that, above all, we need healthy shorelines for increased protection from these strong storms.

2. Effects on Fish, Oysters, and Grass beds

Having access to fresh, delicious seafood is one of the best parts about living on the Gulf Coast. In addition to causing shoreline erosion, dredging also makes the water muddy and prevents fish and other marine life from being able to find food. It blocks submerged plants from receiving the necessary sunlight to grow, which kills plants, causes oxygen levels to drop, and negatively affects fish habitat. Deepening the harbor can also increase saltwater levels, negatively impacting oyster productivity. Along with its delicious taste, healthy seafood is vitally important to our economy and we need to ensure our fish and oysters are protected.

3. Public Involvement

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We want to see a better process in place to ensure our citizens’ voices are properly being heard. First, we need to make sure all comments submitted are formally addressed. We also believe the “open house” meeting format (essentially a self-guided tour) has major limitations for public participation. A “town hall” style format would be more effective to educate citizens on the issue by allowing them to hear each other’s concerns.

Other Impacts

We also want to see other issues evaluated, including air quality concerns, ensuring a proper location for disposal of dredged material, and more.


Get Involved

Your voice is critical in this decision! Here are a few ways you can get involved:

 
  • Attend the public meetings - The next public meeting will be held this Thursday, September 14 at the Bayou La Batre Community Center (pictured above on the map) from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. We strongly encourage you to attend.

  • Submit comments - If you can’t make it to the meeting, you still have a chance to speak up! You can submit written comments via email to MobileHarborGRR@usace.army.mil or via regular mail to the following address:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District ATTN: PD-F

P.O. Box 2288

Mobile, AL 36628

  • Stay updated - Follow the updates given by the Corps by signing up for the listserve and reading the biweekly updates. Click here to read our “Bay Blog” post from the last meeting.

  • Join us - Become a Member of Mobile Baykeeper to receive more information about our involvement in this issue and other important issues we're working on to protect the Mobile Bay Watershed and our coastal communities. 

Contact Us

Questions, comments, or concerns? Let us know! Contact Program & Grants Coordinator Laura Jackson at ljackson@mobilebaykeeper.org or call 251-433-4229.