Weeks Bay Land Acquisition (East Gateway Tract)
State of Alabama
DWH Project Funding
Known Leveraged Funding
Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees (NRDA)
Natural Resource Damage Assessment NRDA
Habitat Restoration and Enhancement
Under this project, the Weeks Bay Foundation (WBF) will acquire the 175-acre East Gateway Tract through a fee simple purchase, place an appropriate permanent land protection instrument on the property (i.e., deed restriction, conservation easement), and transfer it into the permanent ownership of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) with management by the Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR). The acquisition, which includes more than 100 acres of intertidal marsh and freshwater wetlands, will protect the eastern shore of the mouth of Weeks Bay. The property features a large salt marsh with a stream providing protected habitat and shelter for wading birds, duck species, and various species of indigenous marine life. Diamondback Terrapin, an Alabama species of concern, have been documented in upland areas of the property. The shoreline of the property has been ecologically degraded by the construction of approximately a 0.25-mile bulkhead. The acquisition and permanent protection will conserve the site in perpetuity and begin the process of addressing restoration at the site by providing funds (1) for E&D to remove the bulkhead, which is contributing to shoreline scouring and erosion; and (2) for the development of a comprehensive shoreline restoration plan. In addition, the project includes funds for the Weeks Bay NERR to work with WBF on a long-term management plan setting priorities for additional restoration at the site, including possible re-creation of longleaf pine savannas, pitcher plant bogs, and marsh and swamp habitat.