Revelry on the Water: My Journey to Mobile Baykeeper

Revelry on the Water: My Journey to Mobile Baykeeper

The truth is, I hadn’t thought much about clean water until recently.  I took it for granted.  I wasn’t fully aware of the many threats and challenges faced by our waterways.  As I learned about Mobile Baykeeper, I became more and more intrigued.  It wasn’t long before I knew that I wanted to be a part of this team of smart, dedicated individuals working toward the common goal of clean water, clean air and healthy communities.  I am incredibly thankful to be doing a job I love, planning events and connecting with people, that supports such a meaningful purpose… one that ensures my family will be able to safely enjoy this incredible natural resource and all that it has to offer for years and generations to come.

3 Out of 4 Water Samples from Fish River Below EPA E. Coli Threshold for Swimming

3 Out of 4 Water Samples from Fish River Below EPA E. Coli Threshold for Swimming

When the Alabama Department of Public Health notified the public about a sewage spill from the Town of Loxley on Monday, Mobile Baykeeper’s Program Director Cade Kistler grabbed his gear and headed out to Fish River. Kistler took samples from four locations along Fish River: County Rd 64 just down from the Loxley discharge, Highway 104, Bohemian Park (County Rd. 48), and County Rd 32. This evening Mobile Baykeeper staff were able to read the results, which showed E. coli levels of 262 MPN/100mL (most probable number of bacteria in 100mL of water) at County Rd 64, 160 MPN/100mL at Highway 104, 170 MPN/100mL at Bohemian Park, and 134 MPN/100mL at County Rd 32. The EPA E. coli threshold for swimming is 235 MPN/100mL. While these results are near, and in one case just exceeding, the EPA threshold it’s important to note they are similar to the average E. coli levels (193 MPN/100mL) Mobile Baykeeper’s S.W.I.M. sampling has found in Fish River at Bohemian Park on days without reported sewage releases or spills.

Charting My Course to New Waters

Charting My Course to New Waters

I’ve been lucky enough to work with Mobile Baykeeper for the past two years, which began my involvement in local environmental work and allowed my progression and long-standing learning for life.

Our work here at Mobile Baykeeper is not just important, it’s necessary.

With my new beginning, I am happily charting forward to Spring Hill College in the position of Assistant Director of Annual Giving. I am so thankful for the opportunity and beyond grateful for the “Baykeeper” experience. My life has been enriched here like our Delta and I look forward to the enrichment Spring Hill College will play in the next chapter of my life.

Boots on the Ground: Mobile Baykeeper's AmeriCorps Patrol Team Wraps Up Another Year

Boots on the Ground: Mobile Baykeeper's AmeriCorps Patrol Team Wraps Up Another Year

As our time as AmeriCorps Patrol and Monitoring Members is coming to a close, we wanted to reflect back on our amazing nine months with Mobile Baykeeper and give you all a little insight into what we have accomplished and everything we have learned along the way.

Our Year on the Baykeeper AmeriCorps Volunteer Engagement Team

Our Year on the Baykeeper AmeriCorps Volunteer Engagement Team

This year, we have been able to cultivate more than 1,000 volunteers and reach over 15,000 members of our community. For both of us, this was a dream come true!

We Got SWAMPed and We Loved It

We Got SWAMPed and We Loved It

There was nothing more rewarding than watching these students grow into promising environmental stewards by making changes in their own lives, encouraging their family and friends to make better choices, and pursuing environmental studies and careers. With so many achievements being conquered this past year with Mobile Baykeeper’s Strategic Watershed Awareness and Monitoring Program, we hope SWAMP becomes even more successful and inspiring for years to come. 

Construction Stormwater Pollution Inspection

Construction Stormwater Pollution Inspection

August 26th, 2019

Earlier this week, as most folks hunkered down in an attempt to stay dry, the Mobile Baykeeper team loaded up sampling equipment and our drone, and headed out into a storm to protect Mobile Bay. Two staff members covered a collective distance of nearly 100 wet miles, climbing in and out of steep gullies and muddy creeks at 11 locations. For six rainy hours, we traversed both Mobile and Baldwin Counties, inspecting construction sites.

But why?

50th Birthday Miracle

50th Birthday Miracle

I know 50 is here as the AARP membership application ominously arrives in my mail box and it finally occurred to me to put moisturizer on my face.

Even with the obvious aging signs, I’m a celebrate-rather-than-worry kind of birthday person, so I would like to share a review of my Joys, Challenges and a Birthday Wish for us to band together to focus on what the next 50 years can bring.

5 Water-based Activities Around Mobile Bay

5 Water-based Activities Around Mobile Bay

Mobile Baykeeper is dedicated to keeping Mobile Bay clean - that means swimmable, fishable, and fun-able! Check out these five ways you can enjoy our waterways this weekend.

AmeriCorps Celebrates 25 Years; Mobile Baykeeper's AmeriCorps Members Celebrate Accomplishments of 2018-19 Term

AmeriCorps Celebrates 25 Years; Mobile Baykeeper's AmeriCorps Members Celebrate Accomplishments of 2018-19 Term

Over the past 25 years, AmeriCorps has evolved to meet changing community needs while continuing to develop its members into leaders. AmeriCorps, essentially a domestic version of the Peace Corps, has touched the lives of millions of Americans - many of them here in Alabama. The Governor's Office of Volunteer Services connects AmeriCorps Members to local service organizations such as Mobile Baykeeper, whose own AmeriCorps Members just wrapped up their 2018-2019 term.

Meet the Interns: Owen Utsey

Owen tree.JPG

Patrol & Monitoring Intern

Hometown: Daphne, AL

Education: Senior Geography Major, Geology Minor at University of South Alabama

Hobbies: Hiking, Mountain Biking, Photography, and anything else that is outdoors.

Favorite Place You’ve Ever Visited: The top floor of the World Trade Center Towers two years before they were knocked down.

Biggest Fear: Trypanophobia

Guilty Pleasure: Ice Cream

Favorite Downtown Mobile Restaurant: Pizzeria Delphina

Three Words to Describe Yourself: Energetic, enthusiastic, and personable

Why did you want to intern with Mobile Bay keeper? I chose to intern with Mobile Baykeeper because a lot of things that I enjoy in my free time, Mobile Baykeeper does on a daily basis. As a Patrol and Monitoring intern, I get to work outdoors to take water quality samples for SWIM, pick up trash in local areas and record the data. Most importantly, we protect the local waterways based off of citizen concerns to ensure that Mobile and Baldwin counties are living, healthy lifestyles for our environments.

Mobile Baykeeper's Testing from Point Clear Shows Bacteria Levels Below EPA Threshold

Mobile Baykeeper's Testing from Point Clear Shows Bacteria Levels Below EPA Threshold

Following an alarming video posted to Facebook late Saturday night, Mobile Baykeeper has done what they do best: investigate potential pollution. Executive Director Casi Callaway received the video on Sunday and called Fairhope Utilities to report a potential sewage spill. On Monday, Program Director Cade Kistler, Program Coordinator Meredith Diskin, and AmeriCorps Patrol member Sarah Asher went out to investigate. Today they were able to read the water samples they took, which all showed bacteria levels below the EPA threshold. The identification of the substance remains unclear.

6 Reasons to Come to Bay Bites 2019!

6 Reasons to Come to Bay Bites 2019!

It’s summertime again, and we all know what that means: it’s time for one of Mobile Baykeeper’s favorite events! Join us this Wednesday July 24th at Cooper Riverside Park 5pm-9pm to participate in some of the most fun you’ll have this summer. Tickets are on sale now for $20. Tickets include entrance to the festival along with drink tickets to be used on beverages of your choice, including SweetWater beer or Coca-Cola products. Your ticket includes 3 beers, but if you buy in advance online, you an extra beer!