Partner Spotlight: Mobile Bay National Estuary Program

The work we do wouldn’t be possible without the support of our community partners. Who are these partners and what do they do? We’re glad you asked!

Learn more about our partner, Mobile Bay National Estuary Program (Mobile Bay NEP), below.

WHO: Mobile Bay National Estuary Program (Mobile Bay NEP). This group was administered through and funded by the EPA under provisions of the Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1987. It is one of 28 NEPs recognized across the country under the CWA.

WHAT: The initial task for Mobile Bay NEP was the development of a Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan (CCMP) as a blueprint for conserving the estuary. Their CCMP received final approval on April 22, 2002. Since that time, Mobile Bay NEP has worked diligently to implement this plan and respond to emerging environmental challenges.

MISSION: The mission of Mobile Bay NEP is to promote wise stewardship of the water quality characteristics and living resource base of the Mobile Bay estuarine system.

HOW: Mobile Bay NEP is a non-regulatory program, so the CCMP is implemented by bringing together citizens; local, state, and federal government agencies; businesses and industries; conservation and environmental organizations; and academic institutions to meet the environmental challenges that face the unique and imperiled resources that characterize our coastal estuaries.

OSPREY PARTNERSHIP: Mobile Bay NEP is the group that started it all. The vision for Osprey Initiative and the Litter Gitter came about during the Maple Street tributary cleanup in October 2016. The site, located on Three Mile Creek, is  currently being restored to turn what was once Mobile’s drinking water system into a place for recreational activities such as canoeing and kayaking.

Since installation, it has trapped more than 130 pounds of litter into the tributary through stormwater drainage pipes. Bates estimates the trap is collecting 80 to 90 percent of the floating trash entering the tributary. He is also able to sort out plastic and metal recyclables.

Partnerships like this one with Mobile Bay NEP are key to creating a sustainable difference in our watersheds. Learn more about their accomplishments and the great work they are doing in the Mobile Bay watershed at


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The patented Litter Gitter is a tactical in-stream litter collection device used to intercept floating litter from stormwater runoff. The Osprey team handles all aspects of installing and maintaining these “trash traps” and compiles data on the items caught in them, recycling as much of the litter as possible.