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87 Acres of Wetlands Under Threat in the Dog River Watershed

87 Acres of Wetlands Under Threat in the Dog River Watershed


Mobile, AL (November 27) –Despite significant opposition from the public, Scannell Properties, an Indianapolis-based developer, wants to fill nearly 87 acres of wetlands next to Rabbit Creek in the Dog River Watershed. The Mobile City Council is currently considering approving an incentive for this project using taxpayer funds.


Filling the wetlands would be devastating for Rabbit Creek, and the Dog River watershed as a whole. This wetland swath is one of the largest intact wetlands remaining in the Dog River watershed and is critical to its health.


This proposal is concerning not only for its potential environmental impact but also because the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has not yet granted approval for these wetlands to be filled. Approving an incentive for this project at this stage would be premature and could potentially contravene environmental regulations.


"Currently, the developer has only applied to fill 86.9 acres of wetlands; however, plans submitted to the City show they plan to eventually fill hundreds of acres of wetlands," says Cade Kistler, Baykeeper at Mobile Baykeeper. "These important wetlands, once lost, will not be coming back. There is no reason for the City to give an out-of-state developer millions of tax dollars in incentives to destroy wetlands and harm the Dog River watershed."


It’s important to note that the public comment period for this project has closed, with more than 1,100 comments submitted in opposition of the proposed development. These comments, including a formal statement from Mobile Baykeeper, highlight several key points:


*The filling of these wetlands could significantly harm the environment and would likely violate the Clean Water Act.


*There are feasible alternatives that would allow the developers to achieve their project goals without filling so many wetlands.


*Any wetlands not filled should be placed under a conservation easement to ensure their protection.


*The project should incorporate low-impact development practices to manage stormwater and minimize environmental harm.


The Dog River Watershed Management Plan, developed by the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program, emphasizes the critical importance of these wetlands. It identifies them as one of the largest remaining contiguous bottomland hardwood wetland areas in the watershed.


The plan clearly states that the greatest loss of historic wetland habitats in the watershed has resulted from development-related draining and filling. With only a few large wetland tracts remaining, their long-term protection is increasingly crucial.



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Mobile Baykeeper is a nonprofit citizens advocacy organization headquartered in Mobile, Alabama. Mobile Baykeeper is dedicated to defending and reviving the waters of Coastal Alabama and Mobile Bay, including its watershed, and the groundwaters and marshlands that are connected to these surface waters. 

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