Water Quality and Quantity Virtual Oral Abstracts
Dec 02, 2020 11:45 AM - Dec 31, 2020 01:15 PM(America/Chicago)
20201202T1145 20201202T1315 America/Chicago Water Quality and Quantity - Watershed Planning Cluster (Oral)

The bays and bayous of the coastal zone are squeezed between the land and sea, which leads to strong connections to both environments. As a result, direct modification to conditions in coastal systems and alterations to adjacent systems (e.g. watersheds, rivers, shelf waters) can affect changes in water quality. This underscores the difficulties associated with maintaining good water quality, as well as managing recreational, commercial and industrial interests that all depend on these water bodies. Increasingly frequent droughts and floods compound this difficulty, resulting in disruptions to normal patterns of freshwater availability. Potential presentations in this track include: how we assess these alterations in quality and quantity, how changes in the types and rates of terrestrial, aquatic and marine processes and activities have affected water quality, how we identify the human health and ecosystem impacts associated with these alterations, how we use this information to improve and better manage this critical resource, how we address water quality and quantity issues in formal and informal education and how we bring about behavior change to protect water quality.

Virtual 2020 Bays and Bayous Symposium melissa.schneider@usm.edu
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration logoMobile Bay National Estuary Program logoMississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium logoThe University of Southern Mississippi  logoDauphin Island Sea Lab Foundation logoAlabama State Port Authority logoMississippi Commercial Fisheries United logoGulf of Mexico Alliance logoHydro, LLC logoGeosyntec  logoNorthern Gulf Institute logoGoodwyn Mills & Cawood, Inc. logoNeel-Schaffer, inc. logoHeadwaters LLC logoStantec Consulting Services Inc. logoDog River Clearwater Revival logoEnvironmental Science Associates (ESA) logoThompson Engineering logo

The bays and bayous of the coastal zone are squeezed between the land and sea, which leads to strong connections to both environments. As a result, direct modification to conditions in coastal systems and alterations to adjacent systems (e.g. watersheds, rivers, shelf waters) can affect changes in water quality. This underscores the difficulties associated with maintaining good water quality, as well as managing recreational, commercial and industrial interests that all depend on these water bodies. Increasingly frequent droughts and floods compound this difficulty, resulting in disruptions to normal patterns of freshwater availability. Potential presentations in this track include: how we assess these alterations in quality and quantity, how changes in the types and rates of terrestrial, aquatic and marine processes and activities have affected water quality, how we identify the human health and ecosystem impacts associated with these alterations, how we use this information to improve and better manage this critical resource, how we address water quality and quantity issues in formal and informal education and how we bring about behavior change to protect water quality.

Watershed Planning and Implementation in Coastal AlabamaView Abstract Watch Recording
Oral Presentation 11:45 AM - 12:00 Noon (America/Chicago) 2020/12/02 17:45:00 UTC - 2020/12/31 18:00:00 UTC
In 2013, the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program (MBNEP) embarked upon a holistic, watershed-based approach to guide coastal ecosystem restoration and protection measures recommended through watershed management planning. The MBNEP’s five-year Ecosystem Restoration and Protection strategy initiated this novel approach which prescribes the development of watershed management plans (WMPs) to ensure that restoration projects are based in science and fit into an overall management program. A watershed approach is a shift from traditional land use planning, where geopolitical boundaries limit what can be done to address problems. Conversely, a WMP is concerned with areas, independent of political boundaries, that drain to common receiving waters. This planning process, guided by the MBNEP’s Project Implementation Committee and watershed stakeholders, charts a conceptual course for improving and protecting the things people most value about living along the Alabama coast. In addition to meeting requirements for watershed planning specified by EPA’s Nine Key Elements, these plans also encompass issues related to environmental health and resilience, heritage and culture, public access, and critical coastal habitats identified by the MBNEP’s Science Advisory Committee as most threatened by anthropogenic stressors. Improving water quality and maintaining healthy populations of fish and shellfish are at the base of ensuring what is most important to people living along the Gulf coast: access to Gulf waters; abundant fish and shellfish; protection of heritage; environmental health and resilience; and water that is fishable, drinkable, and swimmable.
Presenters Christian Miller
Mobile Bay National Estuary Program
Watershed Planning and Implementation from a contractor/engineer’s perspectiveView Abstract Watch Recording
Oral Presentation 12:00 Noon - 12:15 PM (America/Chicago) 2020/12/02 18:00:00 UTC - 2020/12/31 18:15:00 UTC
Since the 1970s, excessive erosion and sedimentation have plagued D’Olive Watershed. This “system in peril” has some of the highest sediment rates ever measured by GSA. Compounding the problem, D’Olive Watershed lies within Baldwin County, the fastest-growing county in Alabama. Therefore, the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program (MBNEP) led an initiative to restore D’Olive and realize the exponentially lower cost over a do-nothing approach. This approach included a 2010 Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan, which defined the primary objectives, identified immediate needs, and prioritized opportunities. MBNEP, The Cities of Daphne and Spanish Fort, Baldwin County, Alabama Department of Transportation, and many other public and private entities rose to the challenge. One of the priorities was to “stop the bleed” of massive sediment loss from the many highly entrenched streams threatening every form of infrastructure. MBNEP put forth a “landscape-scale restoration” project for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (NFWF-GEBF). MNBEP received $12 million in NFWF-GEBF and leveraged additional funding to provide $16 million in stream stabilization enhancements in the watershed. This project has resulted in over 11,000-linear feet of stream restoration, with an associated riparian area of over 25-acres. Although individual projects had similar goals and objectives, their implementation varied considerably. On each project, MBNEP seeks to learn, improve, and build community organizational capacity for sound resource management. This presentation will discuss the designs, challenges, opportunities, and successes of this restoration project from a contractor/engineer’s perspective.
Presenters Wade Burcham
Geosyntec Consultants, Inc.
How a Grassroots Nonprofit Utilizes Watershed Planning to Implement Game Changing ProjectsView Abstract Watch Recording
Oral Presentation 12:15 PM - 12:30 PM (America/Chicago) 2020/12/02 18:15:00 UTC - 2020/12/31 18:30:00 UTC
Dog River Clearwater Revival (DRCR) is a 25-year-old place-based nonprofit whose sole mission is to improve the water quality of and access to Mobile’s urban river and its many tributary creeks and streams. In order to successfully achieve its mission, DRCR realized there was needed to fully understand the many factors contributing to water quality degradation throughout the 95 square mile watershed. In 2000, the first Dog River Watershed Management Plan provided a glimpse into the river’s conditions and its future should uncontrolled development continue. Fast forward 20 years and many of the issues identified in the plan resulting from urbanization not only persist but also some are now critical. The need to update the Dog River plan to address new stressors, new science, and new funding opportunities became clear. With the guidance and resources available through the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program the new Dog River Watershed Management Plan was released in 2018. Today, in 2020, after completing the complicated process of urban watershed planning the complex tasks of implementation of recommended actions continue to teach our organization and its members many lessons. As we continue the journey through project implementation, it can sometimes be overwhelming to a small grassroots organization, but a path forward has been laid out and tools have been given us through the Watershed Management Plan to improve the water quality of and access to Dog River.
Presenters Debi Foster
Dog River Clearwater Revival
Watershed Planning & Implementation from a Municipal PerspectiveView Abstract Watch Recording
Oral Presentation 12:30 PM - 12:45 PM (America/Chicago) 2020/12/02 18:30:00 UTC - 2020/12/31 18:45:00 UTC
The D’Olive watershed plan, completed in 2010, is a strategic work plan for achieving goals that provided watershed assessment and management information for D’Olive Creek. I will discuss how the City of Daphne embraced the plan and interwove it into its regulations and used it as a guide for City development. For Daphne, it was not become just another book on the shelf. The implementation of the plan resulted in millions of dollars of restoration and enhancement projects and the plan’s ultimate goal, the de-listing of Joe’s Branch from the State’s 303d list. I will also discuss, the lessons learned during the last ten years of watershed plan implementation. If time allows, I would love to show the up-dated Protecting Alabama’s Waters (9-minutes).
Presenters Ashley Campbell
City Of Daphne
Mobile Bay National Estuary Program
Geosyntec Consultants, Inc.
Dog River Clearwater Revival
City of Daphne
No moderator for this session!
Goodwyn Mills & Cawood, Inc.
Ms. Amy Paulson
Environmental Science Associates (ESA)
US Fish & Wildlife Service
Mr. Stephen  Deal
Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium
+32 more attendees. View All
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