Millions of dollars are being pumped into our local waterways with two new grants. NBC 15's Nicole Fierro pressed paddles into Perch Creek with Mayor Sandy Stimpson to see what this money's going to and why it will benefit Mobilians.
“We have something on this portion of the peninsula on DIP that nobody has, and that’s an abundance of natural resources untapped,” Peninsula of Mobile’s Executive Director Debi Foster said.
Perch Creek, located on a five-mile stretch of Dauphin Island Parkway, is bordered by the Mobile Bay and Dog River.
Mayor Stimpson, the Peninsula of Mobile and Dog River Clearwater Revival unveiled the new Perch Creek Nature Trail & Preserve during a kayak tour on Monday.
Perch Creek restoration is being funded through a $300,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
“It will give Mobilians an opportunity to be in a clean waterway,” Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson said. Adding, “it will just be another thing we can do to recreate with the family, it's good stuff.”
Bay access without the traffic of a trip over the Bayway is one perk of the project, but the NFWF grant is also funding ways to get cleaner water.
The project includes wetland acquisition, marsh restoration and invasive species management along the Dog River and Three Mile Creek Watersheds. Officials say this work is resulting in water quality improvements along the each of these bodies of water.
“Perch creek connects to Dog River, which connects to Mobile Bay. So anything that goes into the creek, goes into the bay,” Foster said.
Additionally, there's also $3.5 million from the BP Restore Act. That award will help raise the bridge along Perch Creek, providing kayakers access to Dog River, plus better water flow and quality.
“Everybody can have dreams, but you can't make it happen until money comes to be,” Foster said.
“This is just another example of what can happen if we put together towards one Mobile,” Stimpson said.
Officials say the Perch Creek bridge will likely be raised next year.
Restoration in Perch Creek is already in the works and the creek is open to the public.