Alabama Mississippi Bays and Bayous Symposium

Early registration ends November 14th. Ticket prices will increase by $25.

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Learn more about the state of our coastal environment

The purpose of the Bays and Bayous Symposium is to bring together a broad array of scientists, resource managers, policy makers, and business and industry interests from throughout the southeast region of the U.S. to promote information exchange and networking related to coastal issues that impact long-term sustainability. The goals of the symposium are to:

  • Provide a scientific overview and on the ground perspective of the state of our knowledge and activities addressing the water quality, living resources, habitat management, human impacts, and citizen stewardship challenges of the northern Gulf of Mexico;
  • Explore how the economy, ecosystem, community and culture each play a role in maintaining northern Gulf coast resilience;
  • Learn about what environmental factors put stress on local economies, ecosystems, heritage and culture, and communities; and
  • Inspire how to best balance environmental protection with human uses of our natural resources.

The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program is pleased to host the 2018 Bays and Bayous Symposium at the Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center in Mobile, AL. The Symposium is a biennial event held alternately in Mississippi and Alabama to provide an opportunity for the community to learn about the state of our coastal environment.

Established in 1979 as Alabama’s Bays, Bayous and Beaches Symposium. It was held again in 1987, widening the scope of the 1979 event to include the economic importance of coastal waters, educational programs, and habitat restoration. In 1995, the Symposium expanded its audience to include local industry and government with topics that included water quality, watershed management, government cooperation and citizen involvement. Shortly after the 1995 event, Mobile Bay was recognized as an estuary of national significance. In 2006, it was decided that the meeting would be held biennially, rotating between Alabama and Mississippi. 


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Keynote Speakers

Eli Murphy

For the last 20 years, Eli has taught, coached, mentored, presented, and managed communicators from all walks of life. His communication experience spans mission-driven and for-profit organizations, as well as cancer research, neuroscience and entrepreneurship. Throughout it all he’s learned a key lesson: few things are more powerful than the right idea, shared in the right format, with the right people.

Grand Ballroom Wed, Nov 28, 2018, 12:30pm - 1:30pm Lean More

John Englander

John Englander is an oceanographer, consultant, and leading expert on sea level rise. His broad marine science background coupled with explorations to Greenland and Antarctica allow him to see the big picture of sea level rise and its revolutionary impacts.

Grand Ballroom Thur, Nov 29, 2018, 8:30am - 9:15am Lean More


Grand Ballroom Wed, Nov 28, 2018 Panel 8:15am - 9:00am

The theme of the 2018 Symposium is “Navigating the Waves of Change.” True to this year’s theme, participants will share our latest understanding of the condition of the lands, waters, and living resources of the northern Gulf of Mexico and promote information exchange and networking to better “navigate” emerging challenges, new technologies, and natural and manmade stressors. With focus often aimed forward, an intergenerational panel perspective will be a refreshing and fitting addition to the 2018 Symposium. The objectives of the intergenerational panel are to have an esteemed expert for each Symposium track (Water Quality, Habitat Management, Living Resources, and Resilient Communities) share a historical perspective, connect with researchers at different stages of their careers, promote a culture of mentoring, and show the personal side of scientific research.

University of South Alabama
Dauphin Island Sea Lab
Gulf Coast Research Lab
Dauphin Island Sea Lab
University of South Alabama
Mississippi State University
University of Southern Mississippi
Dauphin Island Sea Lab
Grand Ballroom Thur, Nov 29, 2018 Panel 12:30pm - 1:30pm

The Harmful Algal Blooms panel will bring together leaders from the coastal tourism, the oyster farming industry, and academia to discuss threats to our coastal communities and economies caused by increasing frequency harmful algal blooms in our region of the Gulf of Mexico. The panel will discuss the types and causes of harmful algal blooms and their consequences from human health and economic perspectives. Industry needs will also be discussed.

University of South Alabama/Dauphin Island Sea Lab
Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative
Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism



Grand Ballroom Thur, Nov 29, 2018 Panel 3:30pm - 4:30pm

Vast internet resources with various data repositories, search engine capabilities with artificial intelligence techniques, and database connections will make retrieval of environmental information relevant to coastal resource monitoring and management available on an almost real-time basis. This Plenary Session will examine some of the tools currently available for gathering water quality, land-use, and habitat data for driving coastal resource assessment and modeling. Through a series of panel presentations and discussion, we hope to provide a glimpse of the possibilities for future monitoring of habitats and resources in the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program areas of interest.

The Balmoral Group
Mississippi State University, Geosystems Research Institute, and Northern Gulf Institute
Moffatt & Nichol

The 2018 Bays & Bayous T-Shirt

BBS shirt

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Mike deGruy Student Awards 

Mike deGruy was born in Mobile, Alabama on December 29, 1951. It was here, at the confluence of 5 rivers, with an amazing delta flowing through rich swamps, all emptying into Mobile Bay and finally in the blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico, that Mike gained his enthusiasm for the ocean.  A documentary filmmaker, specializing in underwater cinematography, Mike was also known for his storytelling and passionate TED talk about his love of the ocean on the Mission Blue Voyage.  His company, Film Crew Inc., filmed for BBC, PBS, National Geographic, and The Discovery Channel, and Mike was part of the Deepsea Challenge, where James Cameron went to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. 

In 2010, Mike served as a keynote speaker for the AL-MS Bays and Bayous Symposium, and in 2016 the Student Presentation Award was created in his honor.  In 2018, the Mike deGruy Student Presentation Awards will again be awarded to first, second, and third place student presenters of both oral and poster presentations.  First place winners will receive $300, with second and third place winners receiving $200 and $100, respectively. 

In 2012, Mike died in a tragic helicopter crash at Jaspers Brush near the town of Berry in New South Wales, Australia, and in 2017 a feature-film documentary about his life and work, titled Diving Deep, was released. We are proud to once again remember and honor Mike’s legacy during this year’s symposium.

Mike DeGruy

Become A Sponsor

The Alabama Mississippi Bays & Bayous Symposium is a biennial event held alternately in Mississippi and Alabama to provide an opportunity for the community to learn about the state of our coastal environment. This symposium brings together a broad array of scientists, resource managers, industry representatives, business leaders, and policy makers from throughout the southeast to promote information exchange and networking related to coastal issues that impact the long-term health of our coastal resources. 

The theme of the 2018 Bays and Bayous Symposium is “Navigating Waves of Change.” This two-day event will include presentations and discussion by local resource managers, scientists and active participants in watershed stewardship who will share our latest understanding of the condition of the lands, waters and living resources of the northern Gulf of Mexico. The Bays and Bayous Symposium showcases the latest information about the estuary’s changing watersheds, impacts from major stressors, recovery programs for species and habitats, and emerging challenges.

Become a Sponsor

Our Event Apps

Using the event app, attendees can:
  • Update their profile
  • Manage their personal schedule and check-in to sessions
  • Set up 1-to-1 meetings with fellow attendees
  • View sponsors and exhibitors and their representatives, send requests to get their contact details
  • Engage in discussions on the forum

Guests can:
  • Sign up using Facebook or registration form
  • View attendees and speakers, and their publicly available details including submitted abstracts and checked-in sessions.

Exhibitors can:
Use the in-built QR code scanner to scan attendees QR code on their badges and save to their list of vCards (leads). Later those vCards can be exported into Phonebook or in Excel format.

Important Dates

Sept. 19, 2018
Nov. 6, 2018
Nov. 14, 2018
Early Registration Ends
Nov. 28, 2018
Bays and Bayous Begins
Nov. 29, 2018
Bays and Bayous Ends

Nearby Places To Stay

Book Your Stay with Our Special Group Rate!

Offer Ends 11/6/18

Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel

64 South Water Street, Mobile, AL 36602

Call 1-800-922-3298 or Book Online


Arthur P. Outlaw - Mobile Convention Center 1 S Water St, Mobile, AL 36602