Thompson Engineering was selected by the City of Fairhope to conduct an evaluation of the Fly Creek Watershed. Intense population growth and construction are affecting the watershed, a 5,000-acre area in Baldwin County, Alabama near Mobile Bay. A consequence of urban growth is increased stream sedimentation causing siltation. Rainfall runoff from construction sites is a major source of soil erosion.
The health of the watershed is strategically important to the long-term restoration and preservation of the economy and ecology of the Fairhope community. Fly Creek provides spawning and nursery areas for a number of important estuarine/marine species and key nutrients, microorganisms, and natural organic materials to fuel the food chain within Mobile Bay and the adjacent Gulf of Mexico. In addition, invasive species threaten the integrity of the ecosystem by crowding out native species and creating large monoculture stands. Some of the habitats have been recognized on a national level as imperiled and are worthy of restoration and preservation.
In our watershed evaluation, Thompson compiled information and made recommendations to help decision-makers identify efforts that can contribute to the restoration of natural resources. The city recommended the adoption of the top six priority measures as the action plan for the immediate restoration of the watershed. The recommendations included:
The information compiled for the report was used to assist the city in the identification of projects being considered to address in the aftermath of the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.