Tuesday, March 27, 2012

03/27/2012 - Lower Delta

Tired of padding around in Mobile's waterways, I went elsewhere today and paddled for miles without ever seeing a single piece of litter. When there is no trash, the camera gets to focus on other things seen during the kayaking trip. All the posts in this blog could be trash free if only Mobile's urban waterways and nearby shorelines were kept clean.

Header Image is a merge of several photos showing more Blue Flag.

Sunrise going under the Interstate at Tensaw River.

Welcome aboard on the SS Samual Jonesy. This eco tourism boat does not have the funds to operate anymore. Won't you please raise taxes so SS Samual Jonsey can pay his crew?

Coot having breakfast on SAV (Submerged Aquatic Vegetation).

The further away from Mobile I paddled, the more beautiful the waterways were. Boaters take great pride in keeping the Mobile-Tensaw Delta free of litter and they deserve a pat on the back.

A couple of Osprey Eagles.

 Not sure what kind of birdie this is - maybe a Hawk or Kestrel. One foot was hidden.

It is a good time to see alligators out working on their sun tan.

You can clearly see the alligator's ear in this photo - it is the slit to the left of the eye angling down toward the water.

Insects were out enjoying a beautiful spring day while hooking up with mates.

Butterflies were frequently landing on the plentiful Iris flowers.

Teal ducks playing follow the leader.

Blue iris flowers were dominating the natural landscapes.

Nature's botanical garden is best viewed from a Kayak!

Nature's botanical garden.
We live in a society where pizza gets to your house before the police. That is just wrong.
Littering is Wrong Too!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

03/25/2012 - McCullough Creek and Moore Creek

Header image is a merge of several photos showing the shoreline of Moore Creek.

Water levels were high enough that I was able to paddle way up into McCullough Bayou. Note the scenic shoreline.

End of the line on McCullough Bayou - a 4-foot high beaver dam. Do you see the box turtle in the middle of the dam? I was surprised that there was so little trash caught up in the beaver dam.

People certainly aren't throwing tires out their car windows so where are all these tires coming from? Do you see the Mardi Gras beads?

Wasp and Hornet killer spray certainly cannot be good for Dragon Flies.

Saw a couple of fish today. Here is a dead gar.

Another dead fish. Why are so many fish turning up dead on the shoreline? Do you see the sneaky snake hidden behind the household garbage? How about the snake's head? At least the snake was alive.

Speaking of live, Nutria are alive and well in Moore Creek.

Not much change in the regular trash bergs in Moore Creek.

8-Ball in the Corner Inlet.

On the way back home I went through a small petroleum sheen. There were 3 motor boats in the area earlier. Did the petroleum come from a boat or from the garbage allowed to rot in the water? Based on consumer demand, humans might as well get used to waterways polluted with petroleum.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

03/18/2012 - Three Mile Creek & One Mile Creek

An article on March 17th, 2012 by Ben Raines, Mobile Press Register, talks about how Groups want to turn Three Mile Creek into a park.

Local, state and federal officials toured Three Mile Creek on Friday and included Rae Richardson with the City of Mobile, and Nancy Stoner - a senior EPA official. Ben quotes Stoner as saying that a first step toward creating a Park would be conducting a survey of wildlife. Yup, here we go with wasting taxpayer money on studies instead of using taxpayer money to remove the trash. Heck, I can tell you what kind of wildlife is present in that area. Look at the first six photos below for a sample of what life you can see.

Local, State, and Federal officials and local environmental groups should be ashamed of themselves. Get the trash out of the water and wetlands FIRST before considering spending money to construct a Park! Mobile is about to close some of its parks due to budget problems, so to consider constructing a new Park is pure stupid.

The article had a photo showing the group walking past a "heap of stuffed animals and garbage that volunteers had pulled out of the creek." Volunteers didn't pull an entire bag of stuffed animals out of the creek. Someone drove into the vacant lot and dumped their household garbage there. Look at the photos below to see what is in the creek. Anytime you want to go kayaking to see what I'm seeing in the creeks Ms. Stoner, I have a spare kayak.

Header image is a merge of two photos taken in Maple Street Canal showing how Mobile is taking care of its property, even after multiple complaints about the litter on their property.

Because ADEM won't deal with all the abandoned tires despite complaints, there are definitely many breeding grounds for mosquitoes in that area.

There are crabs (8 visible in this photo) along the banks of the creeks. If you look closely at the plastic bottle with the yellow label, 9 states offer a refund if you recycle this bottle. Alabama isn't one of them. Contact your Alabama legislators and encourage them to pass a disposable container recycle bill (bottle bill).

There are raccoons in the Three Mile Creek, One Mile Creek, and Maple Street Canal areas. This one was dead.

Apple snails are abundant as you can tell by all the pink egg sacks.

There are turtles in the creeks. This one just recently died. Could the plastic bag have played a role in its death?

Here is a turtle that was very sick with fluids dripping from its swollen eyes, barely able to move, and looked like it was about to expire. Are the turtles dying from natural causes or from cancer? Looks like a reason to fund another expensive study of the wildlife of the area to see how the trash is affecting them instead of removing the trash.

Could chemicals in the water be hurting turtles? Here is a can that says it contains chemicals known to cause cancer. Xylene, Toluene, and Acetone are listed as some of the hazardous chemicals. When a can rusts the remaining chemicals inside will disperse into the water and air.

Most pressurized spray cans that blow never show signs of what happened however, in this photo the results of a can that rusted through while on a creek bank can clearly be seen.

Did this floating sheen come from a spray can or is it organic? If the waterway wasn't currently used as a garbage dump, that question would not need to be asked.

Here is a little waterfall coming from the old Hickory Street Landfill into Maple Street Canal. I wonder what chemicals lurk in that water. ADEM officials have ignored my email complaints and concern about the old Hickory Street Landfill. Looks like I need to write a paper letter.

How ironic, a City Of Mobile garbage container in front of City of Mobile property.

Trash piling up in the water at the RR track by Telegraph Road. That RR trestle is a blessing because it blocks large trash bergs from entering Mobile River.

This polluted waterway (Maple Street Canal) is a little over ONE mile from Mobile Baykeeper's office. These pictures show how effective Mobile Baykeeper is at keeping their nearby downtown creeks clean. 
Local environmental groups, and local, state, and federal officials should be ashamed of themselves. When are you people going to get this trash removed instead of holding fund raisers and open houses, taking boat tours, proposing studies, making videos, and talking about constructing new parks even though local, state, and federal governments are broke?

About a half dozen garbage bags can be seen in the water.

The tragedy of this wasteful situation is the creek beds are littered with rubbish too (pardon the pun) and the poor turtles have to live in it.

City of Mobile beautiful shoreline. This is Owens School Park according to Google Earth. Parcel ID: R022906151000001.

City of Mobile beautiful shoreline. This is Owens School Park according to Google Earth. Parcel ID: R022906151000001.

Some trash bergs have a lot of green vegetation, others don't. If this pollution comes from the public, the public should have to pay to get it cleaned up and kept clean. 

Most of the trash I see coming from vehicles is coming from trash hauling trucks, so, if trash hauling trucks are a major cause of the litter, they should have to pay to get the trash removed from local waterways.

In Ben's article Casi Callaway of Mobile Baykeeper was noted as saying about Three Mile Creek, “Think of how great it would be if people could use the creek. It’s right downtown." Casi must not get out of her downtown office enough to know people are already using the downtown creeks for fishing and kayaking, even though ADEM doesn't give the creek a Fish and Wildlife designation. ADEM calls Three Mile Creek an agricultural and industrial creek. To be fair, not every area of these creeks are covered with trash as you can see in this photo, but the shorelines are.

Monday, March 12, 2012

03/12/2012 - Upper Dog River

Header Image is a panorama merge of 3 photos. The scene depicts the failure of modern land based automated trash collection systems. It also shows the result of not having any water based trash removal system whatsoever. What would your yard look like if no one ever came by to pick up the trash? Like this? Who is in charge of this waterway? City of Mobile? Corps of Engineers? Fish and Wildlife? Coast Guard? Marine Police? Navy? Why aren't they removing the hazardous materials out of the water on a regular basis? Someone should be fired!

I didn't have to paddle very far north of Dog River Park to see the result of this morning's brief rain. It wasn't gully washer type rain so trash was light.

Someone removing litter away from their dock. 

The incoming tide pushed this trash into a little cove.

Not only does someone have trash on their shoreline, but they have to look at this trashberg stuck in the middle of the river.

A fallen tree does well at trapping some of Mobile's drainage ditch litter ... until the tide pushes it back up river.

This is the beauty you get for paying higher taxes for waterfront property in Mobile. Instead of putting up fences to keep in dogs, you have to put up fences to keep out the litter.

Another corner on Dog River where the tide has pushed litter.

A wood duck and his wife. That is a television in the water behind them. Believe I'll start a poll. How long will the TV sit rotting in the water before the authority in charge of the waterway decides to remove it? If you say, Never, you might be the winner.

It is rather sad that when I finally do get a closeup photo of a wood duck, the scene is ruined by litter. Thanks Jonesy!

If I was taking photos in the middle of the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, I could spend an entire year up there and probably not be able to get a photo of a turtle surrounded by trash. Thanks to Mobile's broken storm water system, it is difficult to photograph wild life in upper Dog River without there being trash in the photo. Yeah, I keep whining, but let me remind you, some of the litter has hazardous chemicals in it.

A couple of red-eye'd coot seeing green.

Another wood duck photo with the obligatory background. Keep Mobile Beautiful my a$$...it is more like the City Council wants Mobile to be known as the trashiest city in the country. Ahh, I remember back in the day where there was no litter and Mobile was known as "Azalea City" and everyone wanted to live here.

Above: A short video showing litter seen in Dog River after today's rain.

The leaders cry, "Don't expect any funding next year, we're broke." Mobile is so broke they are cutting city employee work hours and may shut down parks. Oh, speaking of parks... Mobile found 1 Million to buy Dead Lake Marina and found another 1.5 Million to renovate the Marina. With Alabama oil money, another 2.1 Million was found to build a boat ramp in Baldwin County. So much for fiscal responsibility when money is tight. Houses will be burning to the ground because of planned fire station brownouts, but at least Mobile will have an expensive boat ramp so people can access it's polluted waterways. If you want to bring people back to Mobile, get the LITTER cleaned up!

Congressman Joe Bonner is quoted as saying, "There is a reason people live by the water, and that’s the love of nature and the environment." Hey Bonehead, have you ever been to Mobile's urban waterways? That is the reason people are leaving Mobile.