SOURCE: Al.com
AUTHOR: Lawrence Specker

The Mobile-Tensaw Delta, the massive tangle of waterways and wetlands northeast of Mobile, has a new marketing campaign.

On Tuesday, supporters including Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson, State Rep. Randy Davis of Baldwin County and Britton Bonner, a Mobile attorney known in part for economic development work, unveiled a new group, the Alabama Delta Alliance, and a new website, www.AlabamaDelta.com. The slogan: “See the Delta. Explore the Delta. Know the Delta.”

The site’s main focus is to promote the wonders of the Delta and provide information that makes them more accessible to people interested in ecotourism, hunting, hunting, fishing, kayaking and other recreational pursuits.

One prominent feature, for example is a comprehensive map of boat launches, parks and other public attractions in the Delta and along the coastline of Mobile Bay. It offers detailed information on access points that might otherwise be obscure even to residents of the region.

Stimpson said the Delta was a “well kept secret like a lot of other assets we have in the area.” Echoing other supporters, he said the Alabama Delta Alliance’s work would have a range of benefits, from making area residents more aware of the unique natural resource in their own backyard to feeding the growth of ecotourism that could benefit the area’s economy.

“I’m delighted with what I think the Alliance is going to do.”

The 40 or so initial alliance members do include a few organizations with an explicit interest in preservation, including the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Alabama Wildlife Federation and the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program.

However, the bulk of its backers are industrial and business entities, ranging from Alabama Power, the Alabama State Port Authority the Alabama Pulp and Paper Council, the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce down to individual restaurants.

During Tuesday’s announcement, Rep. Davis came the closest to mentioning any pressures on the ecology of the Delta, referring to streambed restoration projects and other restoration work done over the last decade. “Working together with business and industry and in this environment has always been a balance, and a healthy balance that we’ve tried to work for and to work with. And I’ve never found any of our industries that did not take that as a first priority,” he said.

The website is up and running as of Tuesday. Among other points of interest is an invitation to join the Alliance and receive updates and further details on the group’s plans. “It’s important to protect the many natural resources and the vast biodiversity that exists in the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta,” the invitation reads. “By getting involved in our effort, you’re ensuring that we can continue to enjoy these important lands all throughout this region.”