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.
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.