Magnolia Springs receives grant for regional detention pond

By Jessica Vaughn
Posted 12/16/19

MAGNOLIA SPRINGS - Watershed Management Coordinator Casey Fulford with Baldwin County Soil and Water Conservation and member of Friends of Magnolia River Committee has been instrumental in obtaining …

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Magnolia Springs receives grant for regional detention pond

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MAGNOLIA SPRINGS - Watershed Management Coordinator Casey Fulford with Baldwin County Soil and Water Conservation and member of Friends of Magnolia River Committee has been instrumental in obtaining a grant to support a regional detention pond in the area. The conversation started at a committee meeting when a member suggested the town consider the feasibility of purchasing a Baldwin County dirt pit off of County Road 26. The purchase would be for over 100-acres to be made into a constructive wetland to help with flooding mitigation.

“That would be a big component of this project as well as other environmental benefits to Magnolia River with catching sediment and pathogens coming down,” Fulford said. “That’s one of our big concerns.”

The proposal was submitted in May to Northern Gulf of Mexico Central Site Cooperative, an organization that received a large funding award and then distributed the money to four different projects in the northern gulf. Magnolia Springs was chosen as a recipient of the grant in the amount of $50,000 to go towards the project. Fulford has already spoken with other owners of dirt pits near the area off of 26 in the hopes that some will be willing to work with the Weeks Bay Foundation on the project.

“We’re going to be working with Volkert as the contractor on the project, and I believe they said it’s going to take about six to eight months of time to do this, but we have a full year to complete the project,” Fulford said. Three meetings will be held during the process: the first was when Fulford announced the project and the grant award. Next will come mid-project when Volkert discloses their plans and the data obtained. The final meeting will be at the end of the project when Volkert makes their report, including possible next steps.

“I know that this project is going to look at how sea level rise is going to impact the river, as well as future land changes up around the headwaters,” said Fulford. “It’ll be taking in that data and what was comprised in the Watershed Management Plan.”

Chairman of the Friends of Magnolia River Ben Dykema stated that the grant award marked good progress for the committee, and that the wetland area would slow down and filter water that flows into the river.

Also to help the river, Cade Kistler, program director of Mobile Baykeeper, will soon be performing a stream hike to seek the source of pollution that’s coming from somewhere near the Highway 98 bridge.

“That area keeps testing high and we haven’t been able to nail down where it’s coming from yet,” Dykema said.

For more info on the Town of Magnolia Springs, check out their website at www.townofmagnoliasprings.org.