Gulf of Mexico
Mobile Bay Salt marshes / Mobile Bay National Estuary Program

AL - The new plan for Mobile Bay raises environmental concerns for local officials

MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WPMI) — A new plan from the State Port Authority is raising eyebrows. The idea is to use dredging sediment to create a 1200 acre island south of the Causeway but some are questioning how the project may affect the quality of the area's water.

Restore Act money is helping fund the design and permitting process. Construction is still a ways away and that's why those who have questions are speaking up now.

The project is aimed at reducing the disposal costs of dredged material from the mobile ship channel by creating the 1200 acre island over a period of 20 years. "We are not opposed to the project out and out. Our concerns are that if you are going to put 1200 acres of dredge spoils in the bay let’s make sure we follow that through. Right now there’s about 700 words in the permit about what they are going to do," said Cade Kistler with local environmental group Mobile Baykeeper.

The new wetlands would be similar to Gaillard Island a 1300 acre island that sits 11 miles south of the ship channel. Gaillard Island was completed in 1981, it too was built with dredged material and is home to nesting for the Brown Pelican.

This new project near the Causeway is still a work in progress. "They have $2.5 million to design and permit from the Restore Act so seven pages are not all the detail that are out there," said Kistler.

Read more.