Regional Sediment Management Plan

Author(s): Clifton, N.

The Mobile Bay watershed covers two thirds of the state of Alabama and portions of Mississippi, Georgia, and Tennessee. It is the fourth largest watershed in the United States in terms of flow volume and is the sixth largest river system in the U.S. in terms of area. The lower Mobile Bay is a designated national estuary under the EPA’s National Estuary Program. The Mobile Bay and the rivers draining into it support major uses with national implications which include the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, the Port of Alabama, various commercial fisheries, large industry, tourism and recreation, and abundant development. Water in the upper-most reaches of the watershed makes its way to the Gulf of Mexico through Mobile Bay. Throughout this process sediments and nutrients are transported and deposited along the way. It is important to understand the mechanisms and processes of how sediments move through the entire watershed to aid in making informed management decisions relating to sedimentation, water quality, environmental resources, habitat management, and human uses.

One of the primary tasks of the Mobile Basin Regional Sediment Management project is to develop a Regional (Watershed) Sediment Management Plan to provide the necessary elements for the management of sediment resources while considering environmental restoration, conservation, and preservation. The plan is intended to also maximize interagency collaboration to assess current management practices towards improving water quality and optimize beneficial use of sediment resources. The management plan will:

  • Develop understanding of system dynamics and provide for better management of resources in the region including sources, movement, sinks, related watershed and coastal processes, and influences of structures and actions that affect sediment movement, use, and loss
  • Provide guidelines and recommendations towards a holistic watershed management approach
  • Encourage more effective management of watershed resources, recognizing they are a part of a regional system involving natural processes and man-made activities.
  • Develop technical framework that provides the foundation associated with holistic watershed processes
  • Provide understanding of regional sediment systems and processes
  • Facilitate cooperation among stakeholders to enhance abilities to make informed cooperative management decisions and develop regional strategies across jurisdictional boundaries.

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Technical Sessions

Session I Sedimentation
Session II Weather/Climate
Session III Coastal Resources
Session IV Surface Water Management
Session V Wetlands
Session VI Education
Session VII Management/Planning
Session VIII Wetlands
Session IX Delta Groundwater
Session X Nutrients
Session XI Delta Water Resources
Session XII Ports

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