Strengthening Coastal Landscapes Room 201B
Jan 25, 2023 09:35 AM - 10:35 AM(America/Chicago)
20230125T0935 20230125T1035 America/Chicago Strengthening Coastal Landscapes Room 201B 2023 Bays and Bayous Symposium
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Marlow Spring Branch Restoration
09:50 AM - 10:05 AM (America/Chicago) 2023/01/25 15:50:00 UTC - 2023/01/25 16:05:00 UTC
Thompson Engineering was contracted to lead engineering and design activities for the Marlow Stream Restoration Project in Baldwin County, Alabama. Located in the Lower Fish River Watershed, this unnamed tributary, locally known as Spring Branch, had severe bank erosion, and was contributing significant amounts of sediment to Fish River. Contributing factors were changes in land-use, increased impervious surfaces, stormwater runoff, inadequate channel dimension, insufficient floodplain connectivity, and stream channel degradation. Implementation of this top priority recommendation of the Weeks Bay Watershed Management Plan utilized Natural Channel Design techniques to restore over 1,400 linear feet of channel. Completed in August 2022, primary objectives for the project included reducing downstream sediment loading, reducing geomorphological failures, and reconnecting the floodplain. Additional discussion will include Natural Channel Design techniques, which involves design of proper channel dimension, pattern, and profile based on reference reach data, instream channel and floodplain stabilization structures, and re-planting with appropriate native vegetation; and project challenges, strengths, and lessons learned.
Nick Combs
Thompson Engineering
Forest Restoration and Management can Maintain or Enhance Water Resources in the Gulf of Mexico
10:05 AM - 10:20 AM (America/Chicago) 2023/01/25 16:05:00 UTC - 2023/01/25 16:20:00 UTC
Decades of research show that forests provide the cleanest and most stable surface water flows compared to other land uses. Due to a combination of social and economic factors, forest losses in the 21st century are predicted to be especially high along the Gulf of Mexico and these losses will have direct impacts on water quantity and quality delivered to the Gulf. Projections suggest that developed land use in the southern Gulf Region could increase by 2.8 million acres (+166%) by 2060, resulting in a loss of forest land of 2.2 million acres (-10.2%) over the region and more than 25% in some coastal counties. Through a collaborative effort among multiple federal and state agencies and NGOs, a new program has been established that will enhance and maintain water quality and quantity by protecting, managing, and restoring forested ecosystems in the Gulf Coast regions of Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi. In this presentation, we will review literature and describe new analyses that link forest land cover to water quality in the region, and will provide an overview of science-based approaches that will be used to guide restoration decision-making and to quantify the benefits of forest restoration for the Gulf. Providing private forest landowners with technical and financial forest management assistance will help them make a viable living on their forest land and will reduce the risk that their land will be converted to other land uses with associated water quantity and quality impacts.
Peter Caldwell
USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station
William Brantley
Alabama Forestry Commission
Ryan Peek
Alabama Forestry Commission
Exploring Innovative Nature-Based Approaches to Regional Stormwater Management in Ocean Springs, MS
10:20 AM - 10:35 AM (America/Chicago) 2023/01/25 16:20:00 UTC - 2023/01/25 16:35:00 UTC
Like many other cities, Ocean Springs, MS needs more accessible and affordable housing. As housing pressure increases, developers are developing tracts of land that are problematic primarily due to little elevation change. While adopted code allows the city to ensure the highest quality of design, this growth creates increasing pressure on existing stormwater conveyances – green and gray. We, a team of local government officials, researchers, and engagement specialists, are assessing the feasibility of integrating nature-based solutions (NBS) in a regional stormwater management system in Ocean Springs to meet the challenges of future climate and development conditions, while increasing access to green space for residents. Community and municipal stakeholder needs, as well as biological and physical measurements, will inform the assessment.
Working with residents, we gained knowledge on flood patterns and distribution to help us ascertain the scope of flooding issues in the region. Additionally, residents provided input on desired recreational activities and natural access to gain an understanding of community needs and further inform the NBS considered for addressing stormwater management. The City of Ocean Springs and Jackson County refined the study area, stakeholders to include, and range of NBS alternatives to explore. These combined community and municipal perspectives, along with physical assessments, will provide the necessary information to conduct an optimization exercise to assess different infrastructure options under a variety of future development and climate conditions. If any potential outputs meet the needs of municipal partners and stakeholders, funding will be pursued to conduct engineering, design, and implementation.

Nina Woodard
Renee Collini
Mississippi State University/Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium
Carolyn Martin
City Of Ocean Springs, MS
Eric Sparks
Mississippi State University, Coastal Research And Extension Center
Alireza Ermagun
George Mason University
Thompson Engineering
USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station
No moderator for this session!
City of Ocean Springs, MS
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