Low-impact development ordinances encourage Smart Growth practices in the Dâ€™Olive Watershed
Non-point source pollution is a significant contributor to water quality degradation and can diminish the chance to pursue meaningful stream restoration. Impervious cover in the D’Olive Watershed in Alabama in increasing, and there is more stormwater runoff and changes to drainage patterns. Erosion and sedimentation concerns in the watershed’s stream network and in D’Olive Bay and Mobile Bay, its receiving waters, have escalated.
The D’Olive Watershed Working Group (DWWG), a coalition of federal, state and local agencies, property owners, developers and commercial interests, completed a comprehensive watershed management plan (WMP) in 2010. On the plan’s recommendation, the D’Olive Intergovernmental Task Force (DITF) was formed in 2011 and has been strategically implementing management measures set forth in the plan. Communities within the watershed include the cities of Daphne and Spanish Fort. Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium and the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program have partnered to facilitate the DITF since its inception.
Through MASGC and Mobile Bay National Estuary Program outreach programs for the D’Olive Intergovernmental Task Force, Daphne and Spanish Fort adopted consistent design guidance ordinances to encourage low-impact development (LID)/green infrastructure techniques in effort to minimize impervious cover in future developments within the watershed. In 2016, the City of Spanish Fort enacted new subdivision regulations which allow for low-impact development as an option in future construction.
The City of Spanish Fort, Alabama, adopted new subdivision regulations to allow future development in the D’Olive Watershed to incorporate smart growth concepts and minimize impacts of impervious cover.