NOAA Marine Debris Project

In August 2017, We received a $56,000 grant from the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration (NOAA) to implement a marine debris removal project on One Mile Creek and help Mobile move toward a litter-free Mardi Gras. The grant ended in 2019. Below is an overview of each major aspect of the program. 


1. Restore


The first element of this grant was to restore One Mile Creek by implementing marine debris removals and kayak litter cleanups on this degraded waterway. This is the creek that receives a significant amount of litter from Mardi Gras through stormwater runoff. 

We and 358 volunteers completed 6 community cleanups and removed 7,585 pounds of litter. We were able to recycle 30% of it. We found TVs, shopping carts, plastic toys, car tires, plenty of Mardi Gras items, and much more. We also partnered with Osprey Initiative ,who implemented a Litter Gitter on the creek. The Litter Gitter alone collected 168.32 pounds of litter which would have found its way into our beautiful bay.

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2. Protect


The second element of this project was to work with the City of Mobile to install temporary litter barriers over storm drains along parade routes to prevent new litter from entering the drains and polluting local rivers and creeks. This is essential to keep our waterways clean!

3. Prevent

litter-free Mardi gras campaign

The third element of this project was to create a public awareness campaign during Mardi Gras to encourage citizens to celebrate responsibly and educate them on the negative impacts Mardi Gras litter has on our waterways. Party on… Just pick it up!

Through our media campaign, over two years we generated 173 TV and print news pieces, reaching approximately 2,498,596 people.

In 2019, Mobile Baykeeper will parade into year 2 of the Litter Free Mardi Gras campaign. Join us to #PartyOnJustPickItUp along the parade routes this carnival season!

Species That Benefited from This Project

Gulf Sturgeon, Alabama shad, American eel, Gulf menhaden, flathead gray mullet, sailfin molly, alligator snapping turtle, Alabama redbelly turtle, wading birds, water dependent birds, hawks, raptors, songbirds, loblolly bay, capitate spikerush, incised groovebur


Thank you to our partners & grantors for making Litter-Free Mardi Gras possible!


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