COASTAL CLEANUP SEPTEMBER 19TH 8am – 12 noon.
Meet at the end of Seabright Road…the old Wolf Bay Lodge site.
The Alabama Coastal Cleanup is part of an international effort to remove marine debris from coastal waters. Alabama joined this effort in 1987. Since then more than 77,000 volunteers in Alabama have removed a total of 750 tons of debris and cleaned 4,582 miles of coast. The International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) is the largest single-day volunteer event for the marine environment. Part of this unique experience is data collection. After years of collecting data on the specific types of marine debris being found, ICC data now focuses on the activities that cause the debris. The Ocean Conservancy compiles, analyzes, and tracks this data year-by-year and site-to-site to identify the activities and general sources of the debris in a region, state, or country.
Wolf Bay Watershed watch monitors water chemistry as a major indicator of “health” of the water. Tests give us numbers that help us understand the condition of the waters. Careful observation of the critters living in the water can also help. Ospreys need clear water to fish. Yellow-crowned Night Heron prefer muddy water–well, they prefer crayfish and the crayfish prefer muddy water.
For smaller streams and headwaters one really good indicator is the larvae of insects. Several different insects develop under water feeding on algae or other larvae and they can be collected with dip nets. Disturbing the bottom or growing plants can cause others to float with the current so that they can be collected in a fine mesh seine. By identifying the varieties and numbers of larvae and comparing that with known “profiles” we can get a good picture of the health of a particular stream. Mayfly and Stonefly larvae only live in pure and clear waters. Dragonfly or Cranefly larvae tolerate less favorable conditions. Aquatic worms can survive just about anything.
A couple of volunteers with waders or hip boots will use fine mesh dip nets to collected from grass beds or other likely spots. If we have a spot with good flow a fine mesh seine can be stretched across the stream and some volunteers can stir the grass and stream bottom upstream so that what floats free can be collected in the seine. collections are carried in buckets to an identification station. At the ID station some volunteers separate the bugs from the water and debris in the buckets with screens or forceps and they are put in suitable separate containers (ice trays probably) to be counted. As soon as they are counted, they are returned to the water.
Members of each species are assigned a numerical “value” and the total in the “score” of the stream.
If you would like to participate please contact Homer Singleton.
We were concerned about a recent news report on the status of our monarch butterfly friends. To learn more please follow this link.
February 14 through 17 is this year’s Great Backyard Bird Count. It is rapidly becoming a great supplement to Audubon’s Annual Christmas Bird Count as a means of getting an overview of numbers and locations of birds.
It’s as easy as 1-2-3. Create a free account. Count birds for at least 15 minutes during one or more of the days. Enter the results.
Be a part of this event that supports birds everywhere.
There are instruction aids and information for educators available at their website…Great Backyard Bird Count.
Our new website is under construction. Please look for more information as we build and grow. But that’s not the only reason we are connected.
Our annual meeting centered around connections we have to each other, to our watershed, to other environmental advocacy groups. It was held January 18, 2014 at Bay Forest Clubhouse. Guest speakers gave a wonderful peek into efforts being put forth by various environmental groups and long-range planning for our watershed. Let’s remember….we….are….connected.