In 1997 a small group of concerned citizens joined together to fight the construction of a chemical facility on Mobile Bay's western shore. As it researched the environmental impact of similar plants, it discovered that a sustained effort toward drawing industry into the area had resulted in pollution levels that held the second-highest presence of carcinogens in the nation. Sparked by this realization, the small group transformed into the Mobile Baykeeper, which works to balance the needs of the economy with the protection of the local environment and the health of its people.
As a solutions-based group, Mobile Baykeeper works to preserve and protect the Mobile Bay watershed, a vast network of more than 200 separate rivers, lakes, bayous, creeks, and other water-sources that cover two-thirds of Alabama. Using established environmental laws, Mobile Baykeeper works to protect citizens' health and natural resources, form coalitions, educate communities, and restore damaged coastlines. The group also trains volunteers to fix ongoing issues, such as unsafe sewage systems and storm-water-runoff problems.