SUBMITTED – The Gulf of Mexico Alliance (Alliance) is pleased to announce a Coastal Resilience grant to the City of Fairhope. The award, totaling $45,000, is made possible through funding from the NOAA Office for Coastal Management. It supports a Stormwater Study for the Tatumville Gully watershed.

In January 2016, the Alliance received a NOAA Coastal Resilience Grant to foster resilience planning and promote best practices for future mitigation actions. The 3-year award supports ten communities across the Gulf region as they identify resilience vulnerabilities and take steps to address them. The Alliance’s Habitat Resources Team and Coastal Resilience Team are collaborating with the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium to implement the award. The city of Fairhope received one of the last two competitively selected community grants.

Sherry-Lea Bloodworth Botop (Economic and Community Development Director, City of Fairhope), Phillip Hinesley (Coastal Section Chief, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources), Richard Peterson (Operations Director, City of Fairhope), Karin Wilson (Mayor, City of Fairhope)

The Tatumville Gully is experiencing many threats including erosion, flooding/fast moving water, and invasive species. Many older homes on low lying parcels of land are potentially impacted by the degraded watershed. The City of Fairhope plans to utilize data collected during a citywide stormwater study in 2012 by adding it in to the city’s GIS system with elevation and size data. They plan to generate hydrologic/hydraulic models necessary to evaluate and predict stormwater flows/levels, using current conditions as a baseline. With this modeling complete, the City can then identify proper mitigation measures for implementation.

“The city of Fairhope is thrilled to receive the Gulf of Mexico Alliance grant,” said Sherry-Lea Bloodworth Botop, Economic and Community Development Director. “This grant will not only support our efforts to understand and model one of our most sensitive watersheds, but it also opens the door to resilience best practices for our community. We look forward to being an active part of the larger Resilience Community of Practice which will benefit Fairhope and our neighboring communities.”

The Alliance created an opportunity for Gulf Coast communities to submit project ideas that address a resilience need or gap identified through a vulnerability assessment. Awards include coastal projects in Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas as well as Alabama. As the selected communities take steps to enhance their resilience, they will become part of a Resilience Community of Practice. Here, they will share their experiences with their peers and establish best practices from which others may learn.