Tag Archives: Alabama

Monitoring Water Quality Everywhere

Winter Stream

(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

There’s no question that landscapes across the planet are filled with numerous bodies of water. Lakes, rivers, ponds, swamps, streams and everything in between. Every body of water performs a function in the ecosystem, provides something to the surrounding natural environment. And in many cases, if not most of them, the quality of the water has been greatly diminished or degraded in modern times. So, again in many if not most cases, it’s up to us to monitor the quality of the water, to make sure that the ecosystem is still healthy or can be brought back to health. The thing that caught my eye in this story out of Alabama is the quote, “Our vision is to have a citizen monitor on every stream, river, lake and coast in Alabama.” It’s a lofty and ambitious goal and one that should be applauded. Check out the websites for Alabama Water Watch and the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program to see how they are doing.

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Sharing the Beach

394(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

Now that we’re firmly in the middle of summer, it’s definitely beach season. And it’s likely that hundreds of beaches along the east and west coasts are jam packed with millions of people, spending the days lounging in the sun and swimming in the surf. One thing to remember, though, is that many other species also utilize the coastline and that ecosystem. Many creatures share the beach with us, being born and spending much or all of their lives there. This great story out of Alabama, from Gulf Coast News Today, talks about how volunteers are keeping the beach safe for sea turtles along the Gulf. Volunteers walk the beach, looking for and protecting places where turtle nests are located. It’s an important job that goes a long way towards protecting the local population of turtles and ensuring that they can reproduce safely.

Check out the website for the organization leading the effort, appropriately called Share the Beach.

Following the Parade

Rocks in Still Water(Photo by Robert Barossi)

Let’s face it, parades, while they are lots of fun, are often not environmentally friendly. Lots of trash and debris from all of those spectators ends up strewn everywhere, littering the streets and sidewalks. Much of it does get picked up and finds its way to landfills. Some of it takes the next opportunity to flow into storm drains. And some of it just sits there for a very long time. This year, during Mardi Gras in  Mobile, Alabama, volunteers will be helping to prevent the ecologically-unfriendly consequences of the city’s parades. This post from AL.com details how eco-volunteers will be cleaning up the streets during upcoming Mardi Gras parades. The volunteers will be following the parade with eco-carts, collecting recycling and litter along the way. These efforts will go a long way towards making Mardi Gras a lot greener in Mobile.

Some of the organizations connected with this effort include:

Downtown Mobile Alliance – www.downtownmobile.org

Alabama Coastal Foundation – www.joinACF.org