litter cleanup

Recap of Our First Apple Snail Roundup of the Year 

First Apple Snail Roundup of the Year

By: Sarah Hogan, AmeriCorps Volunteer Engagement Member

We were greeted with a beautiful day on Saturday March 24 to launch our first Apple Snail Roundup of 2018. There were many familiar faces and lots of new ones who came out to help us remove apple snails from Langan Park.

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Because the temperatures are cooler this time of year compared to the summer months, not as many snails were out and active. They avoid the cold by staying in deeper water and reducing their activity levels. However, this did not prevent our group from collecting 462 snails and 660 egg clusters! What a great effort by our incredible volunteers!

This roundup had the added plus of the Goodwill Easter Seals' recycling trailer being on site at Langan Park. As a result, we were able to sort out a significant amount of recyclable materials from our overall collection of litter. There were approximately 450 pieces of trash collected from the park, which could have easily ended up in our waterways if it wasn’t for all of the volunteers who helped do their part.

 

About Apple Snails

Because an invasive species, apple snails have no natural predator in this area. Our goal is to prevent them from spreading further beyond Three Mile Creek into the Mobile River and Mobile-Tensaw Delta. The snails will continue to grow in masses and eat their way through the local vegetation, causing an imbalance to our local ecosystem. One of the most alarming features of the snails is their capability to reproduce several times during our warmer months. The apple snails’ eggs are sticky, smelly, bubble-gum pink and found deposited along the water’s edge.

Each individual egg cluster can contain hundreds to several thousands of eggs. 

Each individual egg cluster can contain hundreds to several thousands of eggs. 

Extra Incentives

One of our community partners, Red Beard's Outfitters, graciously donated some goodies for a give away! Our volunteers who filled out the event survey were entered into a drawing to receive either a hat, t-shirt, and other gifts from our local outdoor store. Special thanks to our friends at Red Beard's for putting a fun spin on the roundup!  We intend to apply more fun competitive incentives at other events in the future.


At our next cleanup effort, we plan to ‘Plog The Earth’ on April 22 (Earth Day) with our partners Fleet Feet and Serda's Brewing Company. What is plogging? It’s the newest craze which combines jogging and picking up litter! Click the link above to learn more about this exciting event and sign up online. We hope to see you there!

Behind the Scenes on One Mile Creek

Behind the Scenes on One Mile Creek

Apart from the community cleanups and litter-free Mardi Gras campaign, there's a lot of work we're doing behind the scenes on One Mile Creek to assess just exactly how much of an impact we are making. 

300 Community Members Come Together for MLK Day of Service

300 Community Members Come Together for MLK Day of Service

Chilly temperatures in the low 30s didn't stop more than 300 community members from coming together to give back to the community and honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Success During Our First Marine Debris Removal on One Mile Creek

Success During Our First Marine Debris Removal on One Mile Creek

We promised volunteers our Marine Debris Removal on One Mile Creek would not be “your average cleanup,” and it certainly lived up to its name!  This event served as the official kickoff for a two-year grant we received from NOAA to help Mobile “Move Toward a Litter-Free Mardi Gras”. 

Reflecting on a Record-Setting Apple Snail Roundup

Reflecting on a Record-Setting Apple Snail Roundup

With 266 volunteers in attendance and 4,432 snails collected, this apple snail roundup was certainly one for the Baykeeper record books. 

3 Ways to Get on the Water This Fall

3 Ways to Get on the Water This Fall

Whether you want to win some prizes, make a difference, or simply enjoy the scenery, the next few weeks offer plenty of ways to get outside and enjoy the fall weather on the water. 

5 Events in September You Don't Want to Miss

5 Events in September You Don't Want to Miss

From public workshops and film screenings to litter cleanups and kayaking adventures, mark your calendars for a month jam-packed with activities as enjoy beautiful fall weather. 

Mobile Baykeeper awarded $56,000 grant from NOAA to help Mobile "Move Toward a Litter Free Mardi Gras"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 17, 2017

Contact: Casi (kc) Callaway, 251-433-4229. callaway@mobilebaykeeper.org


Mobile Baykeeper awarded $56,000 Grant from NOAA to implement Marine Debris Removal Project during Mardi Gras 2018-2019

(Mobile, Ala.) – Mobile Baykeeper has been awarded a federal grant in the amount of $56,013 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to facilitate a marine debris removal project during Mardi Gras 2018 and 2019 carnival seasons. The NOAA Marine Debris Program removal grants offer funding that supports local, community-driven projects which benefit coastal habitat, waterways, and wildlife.

The goal of the project is to help the City of Mobile “Move Toward a Litter-Free Mardi Gras” by organizing a series of large-scale debris removals on One Mile Creek, implementing an extensive media campaign to raise public awareness, and purchasing additional temporary litter barriers and concrete inlet screens to cover storm drains along parade routes.

The City of Mobile begin taking aggressive steps to prevent Mardi Gras litter from entering storm drains in 2015 with the installation of catch basin screens along the Mardi Gras parade route. 

“Three years ago, we installed 150 catch basin screens on storm drains along the Mardi Gras parade route and in the downtown area,” said Mayor Sandy Stimpson. “We applaud Mobile Baykeeper for continuing this effort to prevent litter and safeguard our precious waterways. While our City employees work diligently to clean 10 miles of streets following every Mardi Gras parade, these cleanups will address a neglected waterway and restore it to its historic significance.”

Mobile Baykeeper Executive Director Casi (kc) Callaway believes this campaign will help Mobilians think twice about the impact that Mardi Gras litter has on the environment. “Mardi Gras is a very special and fun occasion for our city, but it also raises a huge problem – litter in our streets and waterways,” she said. “Many of the items thrown in parades are left on the ground to wash into our storm drains and pollute nearby rivers and creeks. This project will enable us to remove a significant amount of marine debris from One Mile Creek.”

One Mile Creek is a two-mile tributary of Three Mile Creek located near the downtown area and is home to numerous bird and fish species. 

One Mile Creek is a two-mile tributary of Three Mile Creek located near the downtown area and is home to numerous bird and fish species. 

One Mile Creek, a tributary of the Three Mile Creek Watershed which contains a high amount of biodiversity, is located near the downtown area and therefore receives an excessive amount of litter from urban stormwater runoff due to the city’s aging infrastructure. This problem is even worse during busy downtown events like Mardi Gras, and has larger implications because the creek flows into Three Mile Creek before eventually draining into the Mobile River and beyond to Mobile Bay and the Mobile-Tensaw Delta.

Baykeeper will partner with a number of local organizations throughout the duration of this project, including the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program (NEP), who guided the development of the Three Mile Creek Watershed Management Plan in 2014. Roberta Swann, director of the NEP, believes restoring this watershed is vitally important for a number of reasons. “Mobile Bay National Estuary Program is looking forward to continuing its assault on trash in the Three Mile Creek Watershed and working alongside Mobile Baykeeper to eradicate trash in One Mile Creek, restoring the beauty of its habitats for birds, fish, and recreation,” she said.

Prior cleanups at One Mile Creek have also revealed medium-sized debris such as barrels and tires which cannot be removed safely without technical assistance. To address this issue, Mobile Baykeeper will partner with Thompson Engineering to organize extensive cleanups aimed to remove large-scale debris from the creek using a barge and a variety of other boats.

Visiting students with the Urban Mission Camp find numerous tires and other debris each summer near One Mile Creek during litter cleanups with Mobile Baykeeper.

Visiting students with the Urban Mission Camp find numerous tires and other debris each summer near One Mile Creek during litter cleanups with Mobile Baykeeper.

“Our environmental expertise is centered on water quality, from coastal and stream restoration to stormwater management and training,” said Thompson Engineering President & CEO John Baker. “We’re excited to partner with Mobile Baykeeper, Mobile Bay NEP, and the City of Mobile on this project as we continue our commitment to clean water and a clean environment.”

To generate public awareness, Baykeeper will implement a media campaign across broadcast, radio, social, digital, and print platforms leading up to and throughout the three-week duration of Mardi Gras. With the project slated to begin next month, Callaway and the rest of the Baykeeper team want the community to know that they actively support Mardi Gras but hope this campaign will encourage citizens to celebrate more responsibly.

“We love Mardi Gras just as much as anyone in Mobile and think it’s a great way to celebrate the history of our wonderful city. We also need to think responsibly while celebrating and realize the impacts it has on our environment.”

For more information, please visit mobilebaykeeper.org or call 251-433-4229. 


Mobile Baykeeper is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization that works to provide citizens a means to protect the beauty, health and heritage of the Mobile Bay Watershed and our coastal communities. To learn more about Mobile Baykeeper, please visit www.mobilebaykeeper.org