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EPA Awards Grant to Mobile Bay National Estuary Program: Protecting Natural Resources and Strengthening Local Economies

05/15/2017
Contact Information: 
U.S. EPA Media Relations (press@epa.gov)

WASHINGTON – The Environmental Protection Agency announced today that the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program will receive approximately $344,000 in the form of a federal grant appropriated by Congress to conserve and improve working waterfronts and preserve fishing communities, within its 71,500 square mile watershed.

“Having a healthy Mobile Bay is vital to the environmental and economic health of America,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Productive fisheries are the foundation of many coastal communities and they need to be protected, and the National Estuary Program is a place-based program that is helping to protect and restore the water quality and ecological integrity of estuaries of national significance.”

“The National Estuary Program is very important to the ecosystem and economy in coastal Alabama. I applaud the EPA for their continued support of this program that allows local leaders to execute important conservation projects on Mobile Bay. Through this important partnership, we can continue to ensure Mobile Bay is vibrant and healthy,” said U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (AL-1).

Download B-Roll: https://www.dvidshub.net/video/521939/epa-awards-grant-mobile-bay-national-estuary-programBernice Smith, PhD., EPA Costal Management Branch Chief, “The Mobile Bay Grant will be used to improve and conserve water dependent businesses; working waterfronts as well as fisheries communities.”

“The Mobile Bay Watershed is critical to strengthening our state's economy and protecting our natural resources,” said Roberta Swann, Director of the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program. “These EPA funds will help continue the good work of the citizens of Alabama to preserve their watershed, the aquatic life that depends on clean water, and the many jobs that depend on a healthy Mobile Bay.”

"The Mobile Bay National Estuaries Program has a long history of bringing various stakeholders together to work collectively on implementing our local Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan," said Mark Berte, the Executive Director of the Alabama Coastal Foundation and Co-Chair of the NEP's Community Resources Committee. "This EPA grant will help further that Plan by improving both our environment and economy, which are intrinsically linked."

About the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program

Footage: https://youtu.be/aTyfRYKe90c – Mobile Bay National Estuary. Members of the media interested in down loading this footage should contact Bethany Dicky, bdickey@mobilebaynep.com, 251-459-8870.

Established in 1995, the Mobile Bay program has enhanced public awareness of key management challenges through community meetings and support for volunteer monitoring by citizens. Local governments and businesses have been active participants in supporting watershed activities to realize the valuable economic and environmental benefits being achieved. At present, Mobile Bay National Estuary Program is coordinating the development and implementation of watershed management plans for all of the tidally influenced watersheds covering drainage areas along the Alabama coast from Mississippi to Florida. For example, the stakeholder recommendations for the D’Olive Creek Watershed Management Plan has resulted in restoration of 9,520 linear feet of degraded streams, reduction of 4,700 tons/year of sediment delivery, 63 acres of restored riparian buffer and wetlands, and over a 90 percent reduction in sediment loads, positively impacting sea grass beds in D’Olive Bay and Mobile Bay.

Since 1987, the EPA National Estuary Program has made a unique and lasting contribution to the protection and restoration of estuaries on behalf of the nation’s environmental and economic interests. A network of 28 National Estuary Programs is located along the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts and in Puerto Rico. The NEP employs a watershed approach, extensive public participation and collaborative problem-solving and science-based approaches to address watershed challenges.

To learn more about the Mobile Bay Program, visit: http://www.mobilebaynep.com/

To learn more about the National Estuary Program, visit: https://www.epa.gov/nep

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