Gulf Shores: Gulf Shores : Wetlands debris won't be removed

11:48 PM

Gulf Shores : Wetlands debris won't be removed

Jackson County supervisors received a report from the U.S. Coast Guard on Monday about why it is taking so long for wet debris removal in the county's bayous and inlets and news that marshes and wetlands will be left alone.

Wet debris removal is an extensive project that got off to a late start, said Capt. Ed Stanton, deputy sector commander with the Coast Guard. And marshes and wetlands won't be cleaned because the method used to remove debris could do more damage than the debris itself.

Stanton said that debris in marshes will eventually rot or be covered by growth. He showed supervisors pictures of attempts in Pearlington to remove debris with equipment that destroyed wetlands, churning them into mud pits.

The Coast Guard will hire contractors to use small barges to float into bayous and inlets and scoop debris from the water.

He said there are 237 sites on the Coast where debris needs to be removed and about one-third of those are in Jackson County. He said the state Department of Marine Resources holds the list and suggested that anyone curious to see if their bayou is on the list call the DMR.

The deadline for 100 percent federal funding for wet debris removal has been extended to next spring, and Stanton told supervisors that the mission could be given to the Corps of Engineers, since the corps has completed so much of the land debris removal.

But before that happens, he told supervisors that they might have the option of hiring the Gulf Shores, Ala., company that handled the wet debris test sites in Jackson County.

He offered that alternative since Jackson County supervisors were so displeased with the corps and its primary contractor Ashbritt during the removal of land debris last year. Jackson County fired the corps in December because of its dissatisfaction with Ashbritt and contracted with local companies to remove right of way debris and ROEs.

A problem with hiring the Alabama company could be that it may not have the resources to handle the full scope of the project.



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