Programs Blog

Continued Groundwater Pollution at Gadsden Proves That Cap-in-Place Does Not Work

Continued Groundwater Pollution at Gadsden Proves That Cap-in-Place Does Not Work

Alabama Power currently plans to cap-in-place all their coal ash pits statewide. We at Mobile Baykeeper maintain that this is not an effective solution - and now we have Alabama Power’s own reports, as well as a maximum fine from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), to back us up.

Where Is It Safe to Swim in Lower Alabama? There’s an App for That.

Where Is It Safe to Swim in Lower Alabama? There’s an App for That.

Mobile Baykeeper started Swim Where It’s Monitored (SWIM), a program through which local communities can sponsor bacteriological monitoring at sites of their choosing. Once a week during warmer (swim season) months, and once a month during winter, the Baykeeper AmeriCorps Patrol Team collects water quality data at each of these sponsored sites.

The BP Oil Disaster: 9 Years Later

The BP Oil Disaster: 9 Years Later

Today marks the 9-year anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, when over 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.

Flooding in the Delta Highlights Threat of Catastrophic Coal Ash Spill

Flooding in the Delta Highlights Threat of Catastrophic Coal Ash Spill

Alabamians deserve clean water just as much as other citizens in the Southeast. Leaving toxic coal ash within a few hundred feet of a major river that is prone to severe flooding is simply nowhere near protective enough. Mobile Baykeeper will fight ardently for coal ash removal until Alabama Power commits to dig it up and move it so Mobile Bay, the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, our local economy, and our communities are safe.

On Your Mark, Get SWAMP'ed, GO!

With over 1,500 people educated, 40 presentations given, and 715 surveys taken since September, SWAMP is off to an amazing start! We are extremely excited to bring watershed awareness and education to Mobile and Baldwin counties and are working hard to reach as many students and citizens as possible.

Proposed Rule Threatens Important Protections for Wetlands and Creeks

Proposed Rule Threatens Important Protections for Wetlands and Creeks

A proposed rule change was announced today that would strip the Clean Water Act of important protections. Allowing this proposed rule change would let industrial facilities, sewage plants, and developers impact many previously protected creeks and fill wetlands without restrictions, harming our local economy and way of life.

Vote for Clean Water on November 6th

The team at Mobile Baykeeper is smart enough to never tell you how to vote, but we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t encourage you to think about clean water before you vote.

Find out the questions to ask yourself and once you know the answers to those questions, make your decision and VOTE.

Lagoon on Dauphin Island Threatened

Dauphin Island is a charming town nestled between Mobile Bay and the Gulf. As this fragile island continues to develop we must make thoughtful decisions to ensure the treasured heritage of the island is passed on for future generations to enjoy.

Currently a proposed development threatens the island. The developer plans to build condominiums, and a large commercial marina in Aloe Bay. This project, planned on a fragile undeveloped shallow bay, will destroy wetlands and fill in water bottoms home to several important species. After reviewing the proposal and talking with community members, Mobile Baykeeper is urging the Corps to DENY this proposal.

Coal Ash is a Danger We Can't Ignore

Coal Ash is a Danger We Can't Ignore

Hurricane Florence did not directly impact the Gulf Coast, but this catastrophic storm highlighted critical weaknesses of coal ash ponds in coastal areas. This summer we caught up on coal ash and explained the dangers of this toxic material including the grave dangers of having a coal ash pond in a floodplain near the coast just upstream of Mobile Bay. Today we look at the threats of coal ash pollution in a post-Florence world.

Community Speaks Up on Corps’ Ship Channel Study

Community Speaks Up on Corps’ Ship Channel Study

Mobile Baykeeper submitted a comment letter on the study released by the Corps on the Mobile Ship Channel expansion project. The letter was on behalf of Mobile Baykeeper’s 4,500 members, Board, the Peninsula of Mobile, and Conservation Alabama. Hundreds of community members, several community groups, and local scientists also submitted their own comment letters. The common thread among the letters was the need for the Corps to address major flaws in the study to ensure our natural resources are protected.

Mobile Baykeeper Challenges the Ship Channel Expansion Study - Here Is Why You Should Too

Mobile Baykeeper Challenges the Ship Channel Expansion Study - Here Is Why You Should Too

The Corps is studying plans to deepen and widen the Mobile Ship Channel. Currently the study concludes “no impacts” will result from deepening and widening the Mobile Ship Channel. After speaking with local experts, community members, and doing our own research - the study is inadequate and likely underestimates the impacts to our precious natural resources. We need you to take action and submit comments by 5pm, Monday Sept 17th.

Important Meeting on the Deepening and Widening of the Mobile Ship Channel - Come Prepared!

Important Meeting on the Deepening and Widening of the Mobile Ship Channel - Come Prepared!

The Army Corps of Engineers is hosting a public meeting on the proposed deepening and widening of the Mobile Harbor Ship Channel on Sept. 11th. Check out these talking points so you can come to the meeting prepared. Your attendance is important!

Catching Up on Coal Ash: Why The Dam at Plant Barry is Unsafe

Catching Up on Coal Ash: Why The Dam at Plant Barry is Unsafe

If the dam broke, it would release more than 21 million tons of toxic coal ash into the heart of the Delta,  a volume 20 times larger than the oil spilled from  BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Disaster. We don’t want to see another disaster strike the Gulf Coast. Covering this leaking unlined pond near the Mobile River is irresponsible and threatens the health of our community, economy, and environment.

Mobile Baykeeper Submits Comments on the Mobile Ship Channel Expansion Study

On July 27, 2018 the Draft Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) was released by The Army Corps of Engineers. The Public Comment Period will now be open for 45 days. Mobile Baykeeper looks forward to reviewing and submitting additional comments over the coming weeks as we research how our concerns were taken into account following our earlier comments.

Mobile Baykeeper Submits Comments on Mobile Ship Channel Expansion Study

Mobile Bay is our home - a place where we all enjoy swimming, fishing, and playing. It is also a complex and highly sensitive ecosystem that is considered one of the most biodiverse in North America. We depend on a healthy Mobile Bay for many things: recreation, delicious seafood, tourism, coastal development, industry, and so much more.


Therefore, Mobile Baykeeper is staying heavily involved in plans to deepen and widen the Mobile Ship Channel. By thoroughly studying and developing a comprehensive plan for the port expansion, we can grow responsibly and minimize negative impacts to the very natural resources that support many economic sectors and our quality of life along the coast.

Mobile Baykeeper recently submitted comments in advance of the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) due to be published later this summer evaluating the proposed deepening and widening of the Mobile Ship Channel. A summary of our latest comments are below. We ask the Army Corps of Engineers do the following:

  • Better Define and Understand “No Action” – We are troubled that the Corps has thus far stated there will be  “no environmental impacts” associated with this project. We now understand this finding is in part based on predicting ship traffic will be greater without the ship channel deepening and widening project than once it is built - that is a tenuous assumption. We request the Corps review impacts under a variety of scenarios to accurately understand what impacts will occur under these all potential growth scenarios. For example, if ships are able to be more heavily loaded (because the channel is deeper) how will this impact the wake height experienced along the western shorelines of Mobile Bay.

  • Use More than One Year as a Baseline – The Corps is using weather patterns from 2010 as the only year to develop a model for the entire project. The year of 2010 did not have severe or extreme drought and is likely not an accurate characterization of the full range of conditions that would result from the modifications to the ship channel. We strongly believe they should use more than one single year to create a more accurate model.

  • Evaluate Alternatives - We suggest the Corps look at alternatives proposals including the implementation of a Vessel Speed Reduction (VSR) program that may reduce project impacts from ship wake (causing erosion to shorelines and disturbing oyster spat settling) and air emissions (degrading air quality) through a reduced speed requirement of all vessels in the channel.

  • Cumulative & Indirect Impacts – Cumulative impacts include those coming from affiliated industries that will need or wish to expand due to the Port’s expansion as well as prospective new growth due to a deeper and wider ship channel. The cumulative analysis needs be sensitive enough to include other important factors including but not limited to: extreme weather events, pollution, wetland loss, fishery habitat impacts, and sea level rise. The Corps must identify all indirect impacts such as new growth and development, and compensate for any unavoidable impacts.

  • Coordinate with All Appropriate Audiences – The Corps should meaningfully coordinate with all the appropriate audiences to develop the DSEIS – including state and federal agencies, commercial and recreational fishermen, and minority and low-income communities located in affected areas. To ensure the Corps is utilizing the best available science, they must also connect with the local scientists and researchers who specialize in subjects that are relevant and pertain directly to the study. These individuals have extensive and critical information.

  • Monitoring Plans & Mitigation – We suggest the Corps implement a long-term monitoring plan that closely evaluates the impacts of dredging and disposal areas for at least 10 years. We encourage them to consider public comments to ensure impacts are not underestimated. If any unavoidable impacts are identified, we suggest the Corps work with the community and environmental groups to ensure mitigation projects will adequately fix the impacts identified and are supported by the community.


Mobile Baykeeper also provided more specific concerns that we want them to study at length:

  • Changes to saltwater and dissolved oxygen (after creating a deeper channel) impacting...

  • Wetlands productivity and survival

  • Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAVs) or seagrasses

  • Fish and benthic species from habitat loss or changes to water characteristics

  • Increased ship wake and wave height causing...

  • Shoreline erosion

  • Oyster spat settling and oyster farming viability

  • Current and future living shorelines

  • Potential mammal ship strikes

  • Disturbance of mammal and fish species migrations

  • Dredging activities and a deeper channel causing...

  • Turbidity (or muddy water) which can impact SAVs, oysters, and fish

  • Release of harmful contaminants locked in the bottom substrate

  • Causing direct mortality or disturbance to benthic communities (critters that live on the bottom bay floor)

**And how all of these activities will impact our Threatened and Endangered Species like the West Indian Manatee and Gulf Sturgeon, etc.

Ultimately, we encourage the Corps select a plan that addresses the triple bottom line - the economy, environment, and community. Benefiting all three of these values will continue to allow Mobile Bay to thrive and continue to support its many uses. If you want to dive deeper into our full comment letter, please click here.

Submit comments – You still have a chance to speak up! You can submit written comments via email to On July 27, The Corps released a Draft Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement with a 45 day comment period, so be sure to follow Mobile Baykeeper for updates on this important document.

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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 or call (251)-433-4229

Back to Basics Workshop on BP Oil Spill Restoration

Back to Basics Workshop on BP Oil Spill Restoration

The Deepwater Horizon Trustee Council is hosting a back to basics, in-depth discussion on restoration on Wednesday, July 18th. This workshop will teach you how the Trustees, as well as our state and federal agencies are working to restore the Gulf with oil spill funding.