A Watershed Moment - Raising the Roof

Support the Grant Effort! We're going to build a wildlife sanctuary so we're raising the roof over here on Milkhouse Creek in West Mobile, Alabama. Show your Community Support and Rah! Rah! Spirit by donating just a little to spiffy up our neighborhood park with a new roof, a little paint on the poles and picnic tables. We can't do it without you. Support responsibly managed watersheds. Donate today.

American Bald Eagles nested and frequented the area until the collapse of the dam in 2021. Surrounded by the City of Mobile, Alabama Lake Optimist to the west is one of the few remaining little parks and recreation spots in the area. It has been used for almost 100 years by many area Mobilians for camping, swimming, fishing, bird watching, family reunions, environmental education, and romantic walks. In the words of one young man who lived in the area told me, "It's a place where I can come sit and clear my mind". On August 30, 2021, Hurricane Ida sent stormwater rushing to the privately maintained dam dropping it into the Milkhouse Creek 200 feet below draining the 25-acre lake and killing the lakeside ecosystem, wildlife, flora, and fauna.

Lake Optimist at Milkhouse Creek is also used by the City of Mobile, the County of Mobile, and the local water company to drain the local area of a 1445-acre watershed. Construction since 1975 within the watershed has contributed to the destruction of the dam and pollution of Milkhouse Creek as more and more parking lots, buildings, roads, intakes, and diversions send water into the Lake which eventually flows to the Gulf of Mexico. The City, the County, and the water &sewer company have remained silent on this issue. And interestingly, as dramatic as the collapsed dam is there have been no newspaper articles written or any public mention of the collapse of the dam even though the silt and debris impacted the city roadway below, destroyed federally protected wetlands, and sits behind a very popular restaurant in West Mobile for all to see.

The people who live within the watershed that surrounds Lake Optimist have lost their lakeside community for now. Mobile has lost a happy sanctuary in a noisy world where every good thing counts to heal us. We can no longer enjoy the migratory bird seasons; they are gone elsewhere. No more sparkling waters dancing in the sun; now we see only scrub weed and scarred earth. No more kisses on the cool mossy banks only tension among the neighbors with the worry of fire, coyotes, alligators and plummeting property values in the surrounding neighborhoods. I live nearby this park. I enjoyed the nature of the Lake that is now painfully absent every hour of every day of every season.

Long-billed Curlews used to be frequent migratory guests here stopping for a bite in Optimist Lake at Milkhouse Creek. Lake Optimist boasted and hosted the most diverse migratory bird population in Mobile County.
My name is Sherry Lynn Gros, I live in West Mobile Alabama. I am the Lead Volunteer Proponent of this campaign to restore Lake Optimist at Milkhouse Creek in Mobile, Alabama. I need money for administrative costs to file for grants, compile an environmental impact assessment and inventory, do mailings, do surveys of the area, and pay for necessary subscriptions to access and create map developers and databases for communications and to meet grant criteria. I need money to operate this fundraiser to be able to effectively reach out to my community and present solid information to the public about the importance of this watershed to this area. At this time I have submitted the Letter of Intent on the Environmental Impact Assessment 2023 Schedule II for Lake Optimist. About 90% of this administrative work has been completed and paid for by me with the support of my husband over the past three years.
But I cannot continue to personally fund the rest of the work without your support. I expect the survey alone to be about $12,000.00 plus travel, paper, printing, ink, phone, etc. So I am asking for your help to get the real-world action campaign rolling.
Together we can OVERCOME this destruction. With a sensible, organized approach and a responsible plan in hand, we will renew this watershed, we will see migrations here again, we will see nesting here again, We will see the waters dancing and sparkling to clear our minds and heal us once again. Will you be part of the real-world success story to restore Lake Optimist at Milkhouse Creek in Mobile, AL? Thank you for your charitable donation today.

Updates as they happen in real-time.


  • Leslie Pellegrino
    • $25 
    • 3 mos
  • Debby Martin
    • $25 
    • 4 mos
  • Josephine Gilbert
    • $25 
    • 7 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $5 
    • 10 mos
  • Palmer Proffitt
    • $20 
    • 10 mos


Sherry Lynn Gros
Mobile, AL

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