As Alabama’s seafood capital, the city of Bayou La Batre is a treasured asset to the state of Alabama in terms of fishing and recreation. Several organizations have come together to work on protecting and enhancing this important landmark for our coastal region, state, and nation.
In July, Coastal Alabama Partnership received an invitation from The Nature Conservancy to visit and learn about the progress being made at Bayou La Batre’s Lightning Point restoration site. Also in attendance were congressional delegations from Alabama and Florida, local county representatives from Mobile, Baldwin, and Escambia counties, and leadership from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR). Included below is a photo with some of our region’s key leaders (left to right) that attended this site visit.
Comprehensive watershed planning was initially conducted by Roberta Swann and the team at the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program. As a result, the restoration project at Lightning Point was one of many projects identified when planning ahead for the Bayou La Batre River Watershed. This project was recommended by ADCNR to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation as an early watershed implementation project. The Nature Conservancy took on the role of executing the project and since then have worked hard to make progress on restoring, enhancing, and protecting the waterfront area.
The restoration work at Lightning Point has been designed to achieve four main goals, including shoreline protection, habitat creation, managed access, and beneficial use of dredged materials. To read more about each goal, view progress photos, and view a project summary compiled by The Nature Conservancy, please click here.
The CAP staff is grateful for the opportunity extended by TNC to learn about the progress being made at Lightning Point and the opportunity to share the exciting developments that are still to come at the site. Roberta Swann with the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program said it best that “This project is a great demonstration of the value of watershed planning and how the planning process can be used to engage key stakeholders (based on scientific assessment) in undertaking important projects, in this case to enhance the resilience of a coastal community.”
Pictured above (L-R) Chris Blankenship (Commissioner- Alabaman Department of Conservation and Natural Resources), Jerry Carl (U.S. Representative for Alabama’s 1st Congressional District), Henry Barnes (Mayor of Bayou La Batre), Wiley Blankenship (President/CEO of Coastal Alabama Partnership), Mitchell Reid (Alabama State Director for The Nature Conservancy), and John Gully (Trustee and Chair, The Nature Conservancy of Alabama)