Protecting Waterways. Adding Public Land.
Photo by Beth Tattersall
What better way to protect a beloved river and bay than to protect the critical land and waters upstream?
South Alabama Land Trust recently entered into a Conservation Easement (CE) agreement with the City of Mobile to protect 96 acres on Perch Creek off Dauphin Island Parkway, just west of Mobile Bay and north and east of Dog River.
“The Perch Creek Preserve will protect critical fish and wildlife habitat, coastal streams, forests and brackish marsh that are all essential parts of our estuary,” Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson said. “Perch Creek also includes some of the last undeveloped areas of the Dog River watershed, and this property serves as a natural filter for runoff from adjacent roads and residential and commercial properties.”
The forests and marshes on the property filter runoff from adjacent roads and residential and commercial areas before it reaches Dog River and, ultimately, Mobile Bay. The wetlands also store stormwater and help control flooding, critical issues as storms grow in frequency and intensity.
The brackish marshes on the property provide nursery habitat for fish and other aquatic life, while the forested areas provide habitat and natural corridors that allow wildlife to migrate to and from natural areas near the property.
In many ways, projects like this represent ‘the best of the best’ for conservation — large acreage tracts combining high quality water resources, habitat, connectivity in wildlife corridors, scenic beauty, and in some cases outdoor recreation.
“We believe it is important to protect these sensitive areas where we can, but the Perch Creek Preserve will also help connect Mobilians to nature and to each other,” Stimpson said. “Preserving these parcels in Perch Creek allows us to explore low-impact features like nature trails and kayak and canoe launches that can help expand public access to our natural resources.”
“Thanks to trusted partnerships and conservation supporters, crucial land and water resources on this property are now permanently protected,” Connie Whitaker, executive director of South Alabama Land Trust said. “What happens upstream affects the quality of life of everyone who enjoys Dog River and Mobile Bay. We commend the City of Mobile for taking this important step toward protecting the quality of life of this and future generations.