FAIRHOPE — A set of booms to be installed on the detention pond near the Fairhope Winn Dixie shopping center should prevent litter and other debris from flowing into Mobile Bay, city officials …
FAIRHOPE — A set of booms to be installed on the detention pond near the Fairhope Winn Dixie shopping center should prevent litter and other debris from flowing into Mobile Bay, city officials said.
The Fairhope City Council voted Monday, Aug. 8, to approve a contract with Osprey Initiative to install the booms and clean the litter at an annual cost of $27,000. The company installs its "Litter Gitter" devices in local waterways to catch and remove floating trash.
Don Bates, company president, said the plan for the Winn Dixie pond will include two sets of booms.
"The plan for that pond is to do a tandem boom system," Bates said. "The first boom kind of knocks the energy down and the second boom catches the litter. Then we'll watch and if there's any more litter coming into the lake from the subdivision behind it or different access points."
He said the company will also clean up the site on a regular basis.
"No boom is perfect, a little gets away, so we come in twice a month, minimum, and we'll be in the water cleaning the pond out after rain events and then we're kind of on call," Bates said. "If, for some reason, that weird rain happens and there's a big escape and litter gets into the pond, we get all that too."
Bates said he and other company staffers also plan to work with schools on environmental education projects at the site.
"As we get our feet under us, get the gear working, if we need to host a science class or somebody to come out there and talk about stormwater, we'll coordinate one of our field trips, one of our visits with the students," Bates said.
Councilman Corey Martin said the program will be a good opportunity for children in environmental education programs.
"I think this is going to be great for the kids," Martin said.
He said children at the Pelicans Nest environment lab often express a concern about litter and pollution in local waters.
"They always talk about the plastics and pellets that go into the estuary that kills the fish," Martin said. "For them to actually see this process and something to mitigate those things happening to our bay I think is going to be a great educational piece."
Bates said many of his fellow Fairhope residents are conscientious about litter and protecting the waterways.
"The beauty of Fairhope is we're pretty good," Bates said. "A lot of our litter is relatively recent, the easy litter on the roads, it seems like we get it up pretty quick and I know that's a lot of folks working really hard behind the scenes."