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Mayor Stimpson, Peninsula of Mobile and Dog River Clearwater Revival Announce New Perch Creek Nature Trail

April 16, 2018

Mobile, Ala.— 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. New educational signage was also unveiled that provides trail maps for kayakers exploring the latest addition to the Dog River Scenic Blueway.

The Peninsula is the five mile stretch of Dauphin Island Parkway bordered by Mobile Bay on the East and Dog River on the West and South. It is part of both the Dog River and Garrows Bend watersheds. Perch Creek, which drains to Dog River, is also one of the newest additions to the Alabama Coastal Birding Trail home to osprey, ibis, the bald eagle and other bird species.

Through a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) grant, the City is restoring three habitats located in the Dog River and Three Mile Creek Watersheds. The project includes wetland acquisition, marsh restoration and invasive species management resulting in water quality improvements in both waterbodies. Most notably, the Perch Creek bridge that currently divides the creek from its Dog River source will be raised to restore hydrologic flow and access to the Dog River Scenic Blueway and Birding Trail. The Dog River Scenic Blueway is a project of Dog River Clearwater Revival, the National Parks Service and the Alabama Scenic River Trail.

NFWF awarded the City a $300,000 grant in 2015 for the first phase of the project to identify these habitats, complete environmental assessments for the properties and perform real estate due diligence.

Last month, the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council (RESTORE) voted to award the City of Mobile and MAWSS $3.5 million for the Perch Creek Area Sanitary Sewer Trunk Line to complement the ongoing NFWF project. The project will reduce sanitary sewer overflows further improving water quality in the Perch Creek area.
This project was made possible through a strong collaboration with the Peninsula of Mobile, Dog River Clearwater Revival, the City of Mobile, the Alabama Department of Transportation, Mobile Bay National Estuary Program, The Nature Conservancy, MAWSS, Alabama Department of Environmental Management, the Alabama Coastal Foundation, Mobile United, Pelican Coast Conservancy and the Martin Luther King Jr. Redevelopment Authority.

"I want to thank all of our partners for turning this vision into a reality," said Mayor Stimpson. "Mobile is a city closely connected to the water, and as one of the largest ports in the country, we were devastated by the BP oil disaster. Citizens lost their jobs, entire industries suffered and many felt hopeless for our future. We've surpassed many of these challenges over the years, but we need a resilient coastline to support our growing economy. This project is a strong step in the right direction."

Debi Foster, Executive Director of the Peninsula of Mobile and Dog River Clearwater Revival, two local non-profit organizations, applauded the collaborative efforts to revitalize Mobile's coastal community while improving the water quality of the city's urban river. "The peninsula part of DIP inside the city contains vast acres of wetlands located at the convergence of Mobile's river to the bay that are valuable treasures deserving of protective and respectful access. Recognition as a passive recreation destination through the Dog River Scenic Blueway and Birding Trail, the Crepe Myrtle Bike Trail and the Perch Creek Nature Trail is a win for everyone. Preserving the natural function of these areas provides convenient outdoor recreation opportunities supporting the rebuilding of the city's coastal community while keeping much needed flood and stormwater absorbing wetlands.

You can access photos from today's kayaking tour here.