Thursday, September 7, 2017 - 11:00am
The Alabama Barrier Island Restoration Assessment (ABIRA) Interim Report is now available on the ABIRA website and can be viewed by clicking on the following link: https://gom.usgs.gov/DauphinIsland/Reports.aspx.
This project is a collaborative effort between the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and the State of Alabama funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to investigate viable, sustainable restoration options that protect and restore the natural resources of Dauphin Island, Alabama. The study is focused on restoration options that protect and restore habitat and living coastal and marine resources, as well as protect the coastal resources of the Mississippi Sound/Mobile Bay and the southern portion of Mobile County including the expansive Heron Bay wetlands. Data collection and modeling will be used to evaluate restoration actions with regards to resiliency and sustainability in support of critical habitats and resources.
Two reports will be prepared as part of this effort — an Interim Report and a Comprehensive Report — documenting the combined efforts of the feasibility study. In addition to providing a status of project activities to date, the Interim Report includes a review of potential restoration projects and the likely benefits associated with implementing those types of projects that would add to the value of the resources of the island and adjacent waters while at the same time not precluding subsequent projects to be discussed in the Comprehensive Report.
The Comprehensive Report, due to be released in early Spring 2019, will include the methodology applied, data collected and analyzed, models applied and their results, detailed description of all alternatives evaluated, and the impact and benefit of each alternative towards preserving and enhancing the ecological functions and values of the island and the associated estuarine resources the island helps to maintain. It will also include a decision tool and matrix to provide decision-makers with information on the benefits and tradeoffs for different restoration alternatives, including the long-term restoration and protection of the habitats and resources affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
A public meeting will be scheduled this fall on Dauphin Island to offer interested individuals an opportunity to ask questions about the various tasks associated with the technical assessment.