Geosyntec personnel partnered with the City of Daphne, Daphne Utilities, Mobile Bay National Estuary Program, Daphne High School, the EPA, Baldwin County Master Gardeners, and others to acquire and implement an EPA grant to establish a watershed pilot project along the Tiawasee Creek to provide education to students and outreach to the community centered on improved water quality.
Geosyntec consultants provided the educational base students at Daphne High School needed to implement best management practices on site. “We taught the concept of watershed, how water moves across the landscape, how pollutants are picked up and ultimately reach the bay,” said Wade Burcham, civil engineer with Geosyntec Consultants, Inc.
Through facilitated discussions, students gained hands-on experience in the creation of their watershed enhancement plan that will improve water quality and guide the restoration and stabilization process. The plan addresses current stormwater and erosion problems and provides suggestions for Low Impact Development (LID) projects.
“We educated students on best management practices and guided them in selecting the best solutions,” said Burcham. With Geosyntec’s guidance, students have already begun implementing a number of projects including constructed wetlands, bio-retention, native plantings, terracing, and floating wetlands.
“Geosyntec provided a framework for many different projects to grow off of,” said Burcham. “Then students reached out for materials.”
From master gardeners to city officials, people throughout the community have donated their time, materials, and expertise to this project. “It’s been amazing for the students to realize the impact that people from all different walks of life can have,” said Dr. Elizabeth Anderton, agricultural sciences teacher at Daphne High School.
“The partnership approach of bringing people with a common goal together is huge,” agrees Burcham. “The project allowed students to see the importance of their work when partners donated time and materials. They connected the importance of water quality to quality of life.”
Students participating in this project will go forward armed with the information needed to make wise environmental decisions and the experience of bringing together diverse teams to preserve and positively impact our community’s quality of life.