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!
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.
One of my first tasks at Mobile Baykeeper was to write a blog about myself and what brought me to the organization. It was titled “My Circle of Life”. I described how growing up in Scottsdale, AZ made me curious and in awe of water, how that awe drove my studies in undergrad and graduate school, and how that knowledge turned into passion, which lead me straight to Mobile Baykeeper.
(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.
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.
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.
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!
"What we have realized is that the more you know about our work, the more connected you are, and the more we can accomplish because we’re working together."
Mobile Bay Watch, Inc. announced its new name: Mobile BAYKEEPER®. This change reflects the environmental advocacy group’s commitment to keep Mobile Bay healthy and safe for future generations. The strong relationship between Mobile Baykeeper and Waterkeeper Alliance puts Mobile Baykeeper in contact with the best advocates in the country working for Clean Water and Strong Communities.
Nearly 10 years ago, Mobile Baykeeper began as West Bay Watch – a group that organized to protect citizens along the western shore of the bay from new industrial growth. The first name change to Mobile Bay Watch reflected an expanded mission with goals and membership that encompassed both sides of beautiful Mobile Bay. This name change reflects another expansion of mission and work to include more of the issues that affect the nearly 44,000 square miles of Mobile Bay’s watershed.
Mobile Baykeeper will continue to focus on issues facing coastal Alabama such as preventing LNG facilities from killing billions of fish, ensuring that the region’s sewage treatment facilities are adequate and guarding against pollution from unchecked industrial growth. The group also will increase work on broader regional issues such as the ADEM Reform Coalition, land use planning and strengthening the state and federal laws that protect the community’s health, air and water quality.
The organization’s 3,500 members live primarily in South Alabama, but numerous members live throughout the state and region. Mobile Baykeeper’s mission is to provide citizens a means to protect the beauty, health and heritage of the Mobile Bay Watershed. The name change reflects the organization’s willingness to be pro-active and help community members understand the environmental and public health issues that affect them the most and, more importantly, how to address those issues.