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.
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.
Mobile Baykeeper is hosting the Bay Bites Food Truck Festival on Wednesday, July 24 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Cooper Riverside Park. Bay Bites is an annual event featuring a variety of different cuisine from the area’s best food trucks, craft beer provided by Sweetwater Brewing Company, live music by Yellowhammer, and lawn games on the beautiful riverfront of downtown Mobile.
The Mobile District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, recently announced that it will extend the comment period an additional 30 days for the Mobile Harbor Integrated Final General Evaluation Report (GRR) with Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS), the ship channel environmental impact study. The agency comment period closing date is now extended to Thursday, July 18, 2019.
Four Alabama environmental organizations have released new interactive maps highlighting groundwater pollution reported by Alabama Power and Power South at coal ash pits throughout the state. Alabama Power’s federally required monitoring shows significant pollution of groundwater with arsenic, radium, and more. Pollution has persisted even after Alabama Power closed their leaking Gadsden pit using cap-in-place - the same method it plans for millions of tons of coal ash in their pits statewide.
rsenic and radium are still leaking from Plant Gadsden’s unlined coal ash pit after Alabama Power closed it using the cap-in-place method. This is the same method the utility plans to use for Plant Barry’s coal ash pit, located just 25 miles north of Mobile on the Mobile River. The Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) proposed the maximum fine of $250,000 for Alabama Power’s violations at Plant Gadsden.
(Mobile, Ala.) - The 15th Annual Publix Grandman Triathlon will be held this year on Saturday, June 1, at the Fairhope Municipal Pier. There will also be another Jubilee Kids Triathlon on Sunday, June 2.
(Mobile, Ala.) - April 20, 2019, will mark the 9-year anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, when more than 200 million gallons of oil surged through the Gulf of Mexico for 87 days. The State of Alabama released an excellent progress report last year noting dollars spent on restoration, projects moving forward, data being collected, and prospects for the future. The more challenging part to explain is what it took to get here.
(Mobile, Ala.) - The Town of Magnolia Springs is clearly happy with Mobile Baykeeper: they are renewing and expanding their partnership this year with an additional SWIM site. Swim Where It's Monitored (SWIM) is a water quality monitoring program that informs citizens of the safety of their favorite swimming and fishing spots. In 2018, Magnolia Springs became the first municipality to sponsor a site to inform and protect their citizens.
(Mobile, Ala.) - On January 7 2019, during the height of flooding in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, Mobile Baykeeper staff flew with SouthWings over the Delta to observe Alabama Power’s 597-acre unlined coal ash pit. More than 21 million tons of toxic coal ash in the pit is only held back by an earthen (dirt) dam and views from the air and the river show flood water dangerously covering as much as 15 feet of the 25 foot dam.
(Mobile, Ala.) - A proposed rule change announced today would strip the Clean Water Act of important protections. Analysis by the Southern Environmental Law Center and the EPA shows the proposal would remove critical safeguards from nearly 60% of Alabama’s 130,000+ miles of creeks and 75% of the state’s wetlands.