Honda Associates Volunteer to Restore Coastal Alabama

Honda associates traveled to Mobile to build oyster shell reefs along Alabama’s Gulf Coast.

MOBILE, Ala. – Honda Manufacturing of Alabama and The Nature Conservancy joined forces on Saturday (January 22, 2011) to construct oyster shell reefs in Mobile Bay in an effort to protect a portion of the state’s coastal shoreline.“It was muddy, windy, wet and cold, but it was well worth it to help restore a clean nursery habitat for a portion of the Gulf of Mexico fisheries,” said Mark McNally, environmental manager for Honda’s plant in Lincoln.

McNally was among the nearly 50 Honda associates, friends and family members who traveled to Mobile over the weekend to take part in the first leg of a goal to build more than 100 miles of reefs in Mobile Bay.

The project, which attracted more than 700 volunteers over the weekend, is coordinated through a partnership of the Alabama Coastal Foundation, Mobile Baykeeper and The Ocean Foundation. Collectively, the coalition is known as Restore Coastal Alabama.

“Honda has long viewed the preservation of the environment as a core responsibility,” said McNally. “Our environmental stewardship extends from the performance of the products we make to the manufacturing operations that help bring them to market. Honda is certainly honored to have an opportunity to assist in this important and worthwhile project to help restore a portion of the critical ecosystem that is so vital to Mobile Bay.”

At 5 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 22, most of the Honda volunteers, including Honda engineer Scott Deardurff and his wife, Kelly, of Munford, boarded a bus and made their way down to the Gulf Coast for a quick 1-day trip to assist in the project.

“My husband and I are always interested in volunteering and helping out however we can, so when we heard that Honda was taking part in rebuilding oyster reefs along the Coast, we wanted to be there and help,” said Kelly Deardurff. “We had a great time and it was a good feeling to see so many people, from different cities and different backgrounds, working together to help restore our coastlines and take an interest in our environment.”

The project near Helen Wood Park along Mobile Bay is designed to establish a reef area to provide a natural habitat for sea life and help disperse wave energy as it approaches sensitive marshland and the shore. Eventually, Restore Coastal Alabama hopes to establish 100 miles of reefs and 1,000 acres of marshes in Mobile Bay.

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