Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA)

The Choctawhatchee Bay is the heart of our community and economy. A healthy bay supports habitat for wildlife we lovelike turtles, manatees, dolphins and shorebirds; a high quality-of-life for locals; and a thriving tourism industry devoted to fishing, boating, and beachgoing. Unfortunately, pollution threatens the health of our bay.

Through the IMPACT 100 grant, the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance will create building blocks of a better bay! CBA will transform and expand our oyster shell recycling program and launch a unique seagrass education and restoration initiative. By bringing oysters back to the bay, CBA will improve water quality and habitat. By teaching students about seagrass and involving them in firsthand restoration work, we will bring back seagrass and give the next generation opportunities to connect to their community. By investing in oyster and seagrass recovery, CBA will rebuild the bays natural filters and sustain the bay for wildlife and humans alike.

CBA is the only non-profit solely focused on water resources in Okaloosa and Walton Counties; this grant will rocket us to the next level of capacity to improve and protect our bay for wildlife and humans. By increasing recycled oysters and working with 100+ students to restore seagrass, CBA will expand restoration by 13,000 live oysters and 5,000 sprigs of seagrass in one year. Since one adult oyster filters 50 gallons of water a day, and seagrass meadows filter and oxygenate water, this has the power to transform our bay! To strengthen the connection between healthy habitat and wildlife, student-grown seagrass will also feed sea turtle patients at local sea turtle rehabilitation centers.

The IMPACT 100 grant will provide the equipment and tools we need to expand and launch these programs for the foreseeable future. New vehicles and equipment will reduce annual repair costs, and reduce staff costs through efficiencies. These savings will be diverted to a recurring cost fund. CBA will fund minimal, additional recurring costs through our normal revenue streamsgrant-writing, and donor gifts. The seagrass program will sustain itself through plant propagation and splitting.

Dear Impact 100 of Northwest Florida,

Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA) would like to express our wholehearted gratitude for your wonderful organization and your commitment to empowering our communitys nonprofits. Your gift to our organization revitalizes our staff and reaffirms to us the importance of our work here in the Choctawhatchee watershed.

CBA will use every last penny of your gift with the utmost efficiency! We are used to achieving maximum results for our waterways with very little resources, so the opportunity to purchase new, necessary equipment is not one we will squander. Your gift will be used to purchase a new truck and a new van for the Building a Better Bay program, but these vehicles will free us up to do so much more over the coming years. For so long, we have limited our growth and the services we provide due to the unreliability of our equipment. We will be able to educate more kids, collect more water samples, and rebuild more habitat!

We will be forever grateful for this capacity-building gift that will help us reach the next level of stewardship for Choctawhatchee Bay.


Alison McDowell

Director, Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance