We are pleased to release our first Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) for the Pensacola and Perdido Bay Watersheds – A Prescription for Healthy Bays!
The CCMP is intended to serve as a guide for implementing monitoring, research, reporting, restoration, education and outreach, and policy priorities that enhance the community’s quality of life and economic prosperity, while improving the health and sustainability of the Pensacola and Perdido Bay Watersheds.
VOICES OF THE BAYS
To develop a successful stakeholder-driven CCMP, public input and engagement are key processes to understand and incorporate community environmental concerns.
Everyone lives in a watershed. A watershed acts as a funnel collecting all the water from a specific area of land and draining into the nearest body of water. Water in the form of rainfall or snow melt is guided by gravity and channeled into the soil, groundwater, streams, creeks, lakes, and rivers making its way to the bays and out to the Gulf of Mexico. The Pensacola and Perdido Bays watersheds are ecologically diverse (having a variety of features and species) and include longleaf pine forests, blackwater rivers, floodplains, wetlands, seagrasses, and oyster beds. The water resources that comprise the watersheds provide numerous functions that are critical to quality of life. The rivers, streams, and coastal waters sustain numerous species of fish and wildlife, and their wetlands and coastal barriers provide protection against storms and coastal change. The environment, economy, and society depend on healthy watersheds.
The Action Plan is based on the community’s values and uses of the watersheds, incorporates best available science, and builds upon existing planning efforts in the region.
These recommended actions will assist the Program and its partners in identifying achievable targets for the restoration and long-term protection of the watersheds while maintaining a critical balance between human use and the health and resilience of native ecosystems.
The Pensacola & Perdido Bays Estuary Program (PPBEP) was built upon an existing foundation of long-standing partnerships and activities to address the health of the Pensacola and Perdido Bays and associated watersheds. As such, PPBEP has already made notable progress toward the activities outlined in the Action Plan. Although efforts are on-going, highlights as of July 2022 are described in this section.
Goal 1: Source of Watershed-Related Information
Goal 2: Strengthen Community Resilience
Goal 3: Improve and Monitor Water Quality
Goal 4: Reduce and Monitor Sedimentation
Goal 5: Conserve and Restore Critical Habitat
Goal 6: Restore and Conserve Fish and Wildlife