St. Andrew Bay Resource Management Association (RMA), is a non-profit 501(c)3 citizens’ group whose members are committed to the proper management of the St. Andrew Bay watershed. The St. Andrew Bay watershed is one of the most diverse ecosystems in North America. RMA recognizes that the St. Andrew Bay watershed is Bay County’s most valuable natural resource, and that the bay plays a key role in the local economy.
Since the 1990’s RMA, has taken part in efforts to help restore the health of the bay with our water quality monitoring, seagrass restoration, oyster and scallop restoration and the living shoreline initiative programs. Over the past fifty years, Bay County has had an increase in development, a decrease in water clarity, a decrease in seagrasses, and a decrease in the abundance of some marine organisms – like oysters, scallops, and some marine fishes. There has also been an increase in inorganic and organic compounds from storm water run-off, point-source and non-point source pollution and health advisories due excessive nutrients and fecal bacteria in the bay. Continued long-term water quality monitoring and coastal salt marsh restoration using living shorelines techniques is essential to protecting the valuable natural resources in the St. Andrew Bay watershed.
RMA’s mission is to maintain and improve the quality of Bay County’s surface waters and critical fishery habitats. We operate several monitoring and research programs in this endeavor including Turtle Watch and Bay Watch Water Quality Monitoring, Seagrass Monitoring, Living Shorelines Initiative, St. Andrew Bay Grasses in Classes Program, and Scallop and Oyster Monitoring and Restoration programs.