Thursday, October 13, 2011

10/13/2011 - One Mile Creek

Launch: Gulf Lumber Landing
Waterway at Launch: Three Mile Creek
Launch Cost: Free
Destination: One Mile Creek to open up boat access for the scheduled October 22 Clean Up The Bottom event.
Distance: 5-3/4 miles (round trip).
Time Paddling: 2 hours
Weather: Sunny and warm. Slight breeze. Tide low. Current negligible. Waters slick. It was a beautiful day.

Header Image is a photo of a smaller alligator.

Biologist Tom Herder with Mobile Bay National Estuary Program, Biologist Patric Harper with the US Fish and Wildlife service, and John Windley, manager of the City of Mobile Public Works department motored up One Mile Creek in the SWAT boat. SWAT stands Shallow Water Attention Terminal (S.W.A.T.). The boat was built and designed by Florida-based Dragonfly Boatworks.

The objective today was to open up One Mile Creek and Maple Canal to handle boat traffic for the upcoming cleanup event. Recent Tropical Storm Lee knocked down a sizable tree blocking most of One Mile Creek. These three men are the hardest working individuals I've ever seen.

Aren't the waterways of Mobile beautiful? The tide was too low for the motorboat to get up into the Maple Street canal. The Clean Up The Bottom Event will be removing trash like this.

My goal was to open up the Maple Street canal waterway blockage with a rake but today's attempt failed. I got about 15 feet into the blockage before hitting some grass with roots like carpet - not easy to pull apart. I had the wrong type boat (needed a wide canoe) and not enough tools to cut the roots. There is another week to get a path cut through the weeds. Note the city garbage bin in the water.

Garbage bins have themselves become riverside garbage - there were four at this one location.

Not all litter floats and goes into the ocean. Plenty of litter sinks and creates a bottom coat of plastic and metal that will eventually block ground water movement when it gets thick enough. Cans, plastic tops, plastic food vessels, plastic bags, plastic silverware and more can be seen in this photo.

Saw about a half dozen apple snail egg deposits in One Mile Creek. A small egg deposit (pink) can be seen on a stem a little above the top plastic bottle.

Amid all the nasty trash there was romance in the air. I never saw so many dragonflies coupled together.

Fall is a wonderful time of year for seeing big lizards. Rather than bolt for the water when a kayak goes by, many alligators prefer to continue sunning. 

This one kept closing its eyes and looked asleep when I left.

Once the trash is removed, One Mile Creek will be an even more awesome place to kayak and enjoy nature. 

If you have a canoe or kayak, come help us clean up One Mile Creek on October 22nd. Thanks.

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