Smart Coast News


A Letter From The Board

JANUARY 28, 2014

Dear Smart Coast Supporter:As the New Year’s momentum builds, we would like to thank you for your enthusiasm and support for healthy communities as advocated by Smart Coast since our founding in 2000. Many of you on this e-mail listing have attended various conferences initiated by Smart Coast such as our first Smart Growth Conference in 2004, which was followed by numerous other conferences providing education and advocacy for sustainable and healthy coastal development.
After surveying supporters and evaluating our multiple initiatives and resources, we have decided to gain synergy by joining forces with our sister organization the Alabama Coastal Foundation (ACF).  Our suggestion to this effect was wholeheartedly welcomed by ACF Executive Director Mark Berte and the board and staff of ACF.  We wanted to inform our supporters as the Press Release is published so you can share the news with your network of friends.  We feel this is a strategic solution for the advancement of Smart Coast principles of healthy communities and the sustainable business solutions of Green Coast Council.
While we are somewhat sad to lose the Smart Coast flag under which we have worked as an organization and a Board, we have collectively chosen to join forces with the positive work of the Alabama Coastal Foundation to advance our vision of a Smart Coastal Alabama.  We hope and assume you will want to work with us on our prize winning programs under our new Alabama Coastal Fountain umbrella.*

Media Contacts:

Mark Berte                                               Charlene Lee
Alabama Coastal Foundation                    Smart Coast        
(251) 990-6002 Office                             (251) 928-2309 Office
(251) 402-3936 Cell                                (251) 402-2795 Cell                      

Smart Coast to join forces with Alabama Coastal Foundation  

Mobile, Alabama  (January 29, 2014)  In a promising addition to its programs advancing conservation, the Alabama Coastal Foundation has been asked to lead the signature programs previously conducted by Smart Coast.  Formed in 2000 and now mapping its dissolution, Smart Coast is an award-winning South Alabama non-profit that helps people transform their communities into healthy and flourishing places to live, work, and raise families.

In December 2013, the Smart Coast Board of Directors asked the Alabama Coastal Foundation to consider leading Smart Coast’s two major initiatives: Healthy Coastal Communities and the Green Coast Council.  The ACF Board approved the concept on December 18 and the organizations have worked together to develop a transition plan.  The effective date of the transition will be February 28, 2014 at 8:00 am Central Time.

Smart Coast’s Healthy Coastal Communities initiative implements safe routes to school programs and advocates for Complete Streets.  The Green Coast Council is a sustainable business forum that was created in 2010 to promote business practices that demonstrate environmental stewardship, economic vitality and social responsibility.  These initiatives are aligned with Alabama Coastal Foundation’s mission and will be added to the Foundation’s core undertakings.

Observed Smart Coast Board President Pamela Ramos – Executive Director of Mobile’s MBDA Business Center, “We are heartened to see Smart Coast’s work moved forward by such a well-organized team with positive spirit throughout. When we recognized Smart Coast needed additional capacity to conduct our signature programs, it was determined that strong mission alignment existed with the Alabama Coastal Foundation.  Good beginnings deserve strong follow-through, and the Alabama Coastal Foundation is prepared to provide quality support for these programs.”

ACF Board President Tom Ward – Professor and History Department Chair at Spring Hill College, stated, “We are humbled to join forces with Smart Coast. As part of the transition, several Smart Coast Board members have agreed to join ACF’s Board and Advisory Council.  We ask everyone involved with Smart Coast in the past to help ACF nurture and grow these programs by sharing their time, skills, and resources.”

When approached by Smart Coast, ACF Executive Director Mark Berte was honored that the Alabama Coastal Foundation was considered to help lead those programs.  He stipulated that Smart Coast co-founder Charlene Lee would need to be a part of the work moving forward in order for it to be successful.  Berte said, “I am pleased to announce that Charlene will join the ACF staff at the end of next month to complete her AmeriCorps VISTA service while providing leadership for the Healthy Coastal Communities Initiative. I look forward to working with everyone as we make a positive impact on coastal Alabama through these programs.”

The ACF uses an education-based approach to conservation: to find the solution, you must understand the problem. The ACF’s education programs include Gulf Coast Bay Buddy (kindergarten through fourth grades); the Coastal Kid’s Quiz (which is designed for fifth graders); Mobile Bay Estuary Corps (a middle school program for students who are interested in environmental science as a career path); and CASL:  the Coastal Alabama Service Learning program for high school students. To learn more about ACF programs, become a member, or volunteer your time, visit the ACF web site:

Good Life Ride and Hangout

Save Mothers’ Day Date

May 11, 2014

A Fun safe Ride with several options leaving Fairhope or Magnolia Springs or Orange Beach

to the Hangout in Gulf Shores: 38, 20, or 8 miles

Please post the attachment below in your neighborhood, help us set a record

Smart Coast Good Life Ride and Hangoutsave date





Sadly we must dedicate our participation to fellow riders we have recently lost




Thank you to JD Crowe for designing the WSB logo. 

WSB Partners:

The pilot Walking School Bus Project is a collaboration among Fairhope Elementary School, Smart Coast, the city of Fairhope, University of South Alabama, and Bayside Orthopaedic.

Smart Coast appreciates the encouragement and help provided by PedNet, a leader in helping communities across the US develop WSB programs.