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2/10/98 - 3/2/98

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Mardi Gras Madness is Here!
This photo, from the University of South Alabama Archives, is a sample of the millions of photographs, maps and registers housed at USA's Spring Hill Avenue campus. A visual history of this region's people, architecture and special events, this collection is a treasure. Have fun this year at Mardi Gras!. Be safe, and please...don't drink and drive.

Mobile Bay Makes the List

by Edmund Tsang

In a January, 1998 press release on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) web site, the federal agency places Mobile Bay on a list of 96 watersheds whose "sediment may be contaminated at levels that may adversely affect aquatic life and human health." The press release further states that most of the 96 watersheds of "probable concern" are "already well-known to state and local government agencies and the general public." The press release announced the results of a study as part of EPA's response to the Waster Resources Development Act of 1992, which is based on data taken from 1980 to 1993 from sampling stations across the continental U.S. to characterize the toxic contaminants found in sediments. The study classifies a watershed as an area of "probable concern" if it either contains 10 or more Tier 1 sampling stations or if 75 percent or more of all the sampling stations in that watershed were classified as either Tier 1 or Tier 2. A Tier 1 sampling station is one where 'adverse effects are probable" while a Tier 2 sample station is one where "adverse effects are possible but expected infrequently"; a sample station is classified as Tier 3 if there is "no indication of adverse effects." [_Full_Story_]

Local Officials React to EPA Report on Mobile Bay's Contaminated Sediments

by Edmund Tsang

When asked to comment on the recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report listing Mobile Bay as one of 96 watersheds in U.S. that "contain areas of probable concern" because of contaminated sediments, Mike Dardeau of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and a co-chair of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) of Mobile Bay National Estuary Program (NEP), said, "It's hard to say without seeing the report." Concerning the characterization of Mobile Bay, Dardeau told The Harbinger in a telephone interview last week that "I don't think all the data are in. We have to wait and see the information we are gathering through our contractors."

The Mobile Bay NEP program is partly funded by EPA to develop a plan to protect the estuarine system of Mobile Bay. One of the tasks of the Mobile Bay NEP program in its first year is to collect and organize the scientific and technical data to characterize the current state of estuarine system, and to identify data gaps, Dardeau explained. "The first draft of a report on water quality is due in a month," Dardeau added. [_Full_Story_]

All I Know Is What I Read in the Newspaper

Professor William H. Stewart, a member of the 1998 Alabama Humanities Foundation (AHF) Speakers Bureau, will give a presentation titled "All I Know Is What I Read in the Newspapers" on Thursday, February 26 at 7 p.m. in Room 150, Humanities Building on the campus of the University of South Alabama. AHF creates and encourages public programs such as the Speakers Bureau for the examination of life through the humanities -- history, literature, philosophy, ethics and other disciplines. AHF is the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The February 26 program is free and open to the public.

The Harbinger interviewed Prof. Stewart about his upcoming talk. Stewart is also Professor and Chair of the Political Science Department of the University of Alabama. [_Full_Story_]

The Harbinger, Mobile, AL