Citizen Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring on Alabama's Coast
The Wolf Bay Watershed Watch (WBWW) is a grassroots citizen's advocacy organization whose mission is to protect and preserve the natural resources of the Wolf Bay Watershed.
Wolf Bay is located in southwest Alabama in Baldwin County. The bay is connected to greater Perdido Bay, and has several tributaries including Wolf, Sandy, Miflin and Hammock Creeks. Municipalities in the watershed include Foley, Elberta,Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. The watershed of Wolf Bay covers about 71,700 acres.
In 1998, several citizens of the watershed formed a group called the Wolf Bay Watershed Watch. The group samples water quality in affiliation with the Alabama Watershed Watch (AWW). In late 2001, WBWW monitors began to branch out beyond the Wolf Bay watershed to sites including the Perdido Bay Watershed.
The benefits of living near the Gulf Coast have attracted many new people, and the rapid increase in population and accompanying land use changes have resulted in major challenges for planners and coastal resource managers. Baldwin County grew from 98,000 people in 1990 to 140,415 in 2000. This rate of growth underscores the importance of understanding and protecting our coastal environments before they are irreparably damaged.
WBWW water monitoring goals include: