Current Research

The Weeks Bay Reserve conducts ongoing studies into the health of the Weeks Bay watershed.

These projects include:

  • Adding information to the System-Wide Monitoring Program (SWMP)
  • Studying the flora and fauna of the estuary to track overall health, environmental changes, effects of climate change, and the occurrence of both endangered and invasive species.
  • Tracking sea level rise

In addition, the Reserve hosts visiting researchers. Housing, lab space, and workshop space is provided on site. This allows researchers to visit for extended periods and carryout longer term projects.

Current projects include:

  • End-user derived research to improve the effectiveness, sustainability, and prevalence of coastal restoration projects. (Dr. Eric Sparks, MSU)
  • Reducing runoff pollution in coastal waters through marsh restoration: a decision support tool for stakeholders. (Dr. Eric Sparks, MSU) 


    Living Shoreline Guidebook

    The use of alternative shoreline protection methods or living shorelines is growing throughout the coastal area of the Gulf of Mexico and in particular in Mississippi and Alabama. Scientists and restoration practitioners from Grand Bay NERR, Weeks Bay NERR, Gulf of Mexico Foundation, University of South Alabama, Mobile Bay NEP, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, and Baldwin County Soil and Water Conservation District secured funds from the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Habitat Resources Team to create an educational guidebook. This guidebook helps contractors and their clients make better decisions on the use of alternative shoreline protection techniques. The guidebook contains a list of factors contractors need to consider to increase successful installation of shoreline protection techniques. For additional information or a printed copy, contact Mike Shelton at”

    Click here for a digital copy of the guidebook.