D'Olive Bay dredging to get GOMESA funding


DAPHNE – State oil and gas revenue will provide $800,000 to help dredge D’Olive Bay and remove some of the sediments that have been a problem on upper Mobile Bay for years, Daphne Mayor Dane Haygood said.

Haygood said the city will be getting funding through the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act that will allow dredging on D’Olive Bay near the Lake Forest Yacht Club. The city has applied to the US Army Corps of Engineers for a permit to dredge the site.

Haygood said officials hope to have the permit within four weeks.

He said siltation has been a problem at the site for decades. “Right now, only shallow draft vessels can get in and out,” he said.

Excessive erosion and sedimentation caused by development have created problems in the D’Olive Creek Watershed since the 1970s, according to a report by the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program. The watershed includes Lake Forest Lake, D’Olive Bay and Mobile Bay.

Haygood said efforts by the city, MBNEP and other groups have helped reduce problems with erosion and sedimentation in the waters feeding into the bay.

“A lot of the major concerns with siltation have been addressed upstream,” he said. “With that done, the boat channel should remain useful for a longer period of time.”

The mayor said officials have been working to secure funding and prepare plans for the dredging project for more than a year. Daphne officials had looked at providing funding for a portion of the work. Early estimates were that the dredging could cost more than $800,000.

More recent projections, however, put the cost at less than the $800,000 provided under the GoMESA program.

The GOMESA was enacted by Congress in 2006. The program provides for the sharing of leasing revenue from gas and oil production in the Gulf of Mexico with Gulf states and the Land and Water Conservation Fund for Coastal Restoration projects.

One of several uses approved for GOMESA revenue is coastal restoration.

Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas take part in the GOMESA program. In the 2018 fiscal year, $2.75 million was approved for GOMESA projects in Baldwin County. The total amount designated for Alabama, including state, county and local projects, was $30.6 million.