One of Mobile Baykeeper's primary campaigns is to facilitate improved operations and oversight of wastewater treatment facilities. Safe wastewater treatment is essential to environmental and human health. Untreated or partially treated wastewater released into area waterways negatively impacts water quality and results in rivers, creeks and bays that are unsafe for swimming and fishing.
Mobile Baykeeper continues review of sewer discharges for violations, commenting on new permits and existing permit modifications. Mobile Baykeeper's advocacy efforts have resulted in upgrades of sewer lines, repairs to wastewater treatment facilities and increased monitoring and assessment of streams' health. Our continuing goal is to ensure that every area waterway is safe for swimming, fishing and even drinking.
We believe educating citizens and students on the importance of a healthy watershed and how their actions can impact water quality is vitally important, and we also believe many citizens want to take action to protect their watershed but are unsure how to do so. To meet this need, we created the Strategic Watershed Awareness and Monitoring Program (SWAMP).
SWAMP educates participants on the role and importance of watersheds, interested individuals are then trained and certified as water quality monitors. The results of their monitoring efforts provide valuable data to understand more about our local water resources and what threats may be facing them. Water quality monitoring data is uploaded into into the Water Rangers web tool where information on water quality trends is available to anyone. The web tool also allows users to report pollution when it is identified throughout local waterways.
Swim Guide is an application for iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch® and Android (2.1 or higher) that allows visitors of Alabama’s beaches to find their closest beach and know at a glance which ones are safe for swimming (Green) and which are unsafe (Red) in real time using water quality testing results from Alabama’s state agencies.
Every time it rains, we have another wide-scale disaster in our waterways. Poor land development and road building practices are filling our creeks, rivers, and bays with mud, litter and pollution, potentially killing the foundation of our aquatic food chain. We help enforce better construction practices locally and statewide through permit reviews, the Alabama Stormwater Partnership, and our Muddy Water Watch citizen education program. Mobile Baykeeper is also affiliated with the Coastal Alabama Stormwater Team (CAST), a coalition of local organizations, businesses and municipalities committed to helping Alabama residents understand the link between stormwater runoff and environmental degradation.
Mobile Baykeeper continues to work on restoration efforts in Coastal Alabama and with organizations across the Gulf Coast to ensure our communities are fully restored from the BP Oil Disaster of 2010. We believe that environmental restoration will not only make us more resilient to future disasters, it is also the key to our economic recovery. Restoration of oyster reefs, coastal marshes habitats and seagrass beds have long-term benefits for our region by making coastal areas more resilient to impacts from hurricanes, oil spill and other potential threats. Funds from the Clean Water Act/RESTORE Act, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (FWF) funds and the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) can also be used for much needed stormwater, wastewater and other infrastructure needs. Coastal Alabama has an opportunity to conduct broad scale environmental restoration that will have a vast reach across the Gulf Coast for generations to come.
Do you want to see BP Restoration Funds spent wisely? We need your input! Take our survey so we can ensure this money is spent on projects that will restore Alabama's coast.
Mobile Baykeeper works with government and industry to ensure we have Clean Water, Clean Air, and Healthy Communities. We research air and water pollution issues that affect the environment in Coastal Alabama, including reviewing new and existing facilities. We are the voice of the community when it comes to enforcing existing environmental regulations and strengthening or developing additional protections for our natural resources where necessary. Industrial growth must only happen in conjunction with a sustainable community and a high quality of life for future generations.
Oil & Gas
Transportation and storage of multiple types of oil via pipelines, railroads or storage tanks in Mobile is an issue of significant concern in our community. Oil pipelines crossing Big Creek Lake, the drinking water supply for more than 250,000 people and 1000s of businesses as well as storage tanks and rail transport of oil throughout Coastal Alabama can cause significant damage to our waterways, safety, health and quality of life in the event of a spill or breach. Tar sands oil, being proposed for storage along Mobile River and in historic Africatown are highly toxic and contain high levels of heavy metals, such as mercury, lead, cadmium and arsenic. Tar sands oil is incredibly difficult and costly to clean up if spilled, therefore not something wanted near our important waterways. Mobile Baykeeper works with local, state, and regional organizations to research this issue, track new proposals and ensure Mobile keeps growing in a manner that is sustainable, promotes and preserves our natural resources and makes our community a beacon for future generations.
Trash is a significant problem polluting the Mobile Bay Watershed. Not only is it ugly, litter chokes wildlife – ducks, fish, turtles, birds, etc. – ultimately decreasing oxygen in the water. Mobile Baykeeper builds partnerships so we can work together to solve our litter problem and make Mobile and Baldwin Counties healthier, safer and even more beautiful. We have developed a litter cleanup tool kit to lend communities and groups wishing to make a difference and our team regularly organizes and/or participates in community litter cleanups, specifically focusing on local green-spaces and parks. We work to educate citizens, businesses, and governments that the real solution to preventing litter has to be a community-wide effort in education, prevention and clean ups.
Mobile Baykeeper’s membership would like to see transportation projects that positively impact our community, that do not harm air quality, water quality, our public health or the natural beauty that surrounds us in Mobile and Baldwin Counties. Throughout the Mobile Bay Watershed, poor land-use and transportation planning foster sprawl and pollution, which affects water quality and the shoreline homes for area wildlife and fisheries. Increased stormwater runoff, intensified drought impacts, and poor air and water quality are the consequences of poor planning. All of these impacts greatly diminish the quality of life that we associate with the coast. Mobile Baykeeper tracks new transportation projects and works with decision-makers to influence project planning to ensure the health of our environment and quality of life.