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National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Awards Foley $2.79M for Wetlands Restoration

Posted on March 29, 2023

Foley City Council has approved a $2.79-million grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) for a wetlands restoration project targeting the headwaters of Wolf and Sandy Creeks. Work on the project is expected to commence in early 2024, following the completion of the ongoing Phase 1 design.

According to Leslie Gahagan, Foley Environmental Director, the grant will enable the city to move forward with the project’s implementation, which is 100% funded. The project’s approval is currently pending the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ permits and is expected to begin in January 2024.

The restoration project will take place across three sites, focusing on stream restoration and stabilization, as well as floodplain and wetland enhancement at the major headwaters of Wolf and Sandy Creeks. The second phase of the project will involve construction and stabilization work on the streams, along with post-restoration monitoring.

Key components of the project include the removal of invasive plants from a stream flowing into Wolf Creek near OWA, bank stabilization on Wolf Creek close to Hillside Drive, and stream restoration on Sandy Creek north of U.S. 98. The restoration aims to mitigate pollutant and stormwater impacts on Wolf Bay, which is recognized as an Outstanding Alabama Water.

The Wolf Bay Watershed Management Plan has identified this restoration project as a priority. Foley Mayor Ralph Hellmich highlighted the success of past Foley environmental projects funded by NFWF grants, such as the Bon Secour headwaters project, which received around $7 million. While the current project is smaller in scope, it is expected to significantly benefit the Wolf Creek headwaters.


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