Due to dredging to meet the navigation needs of the Port of Mobile, the natural east-to-west flow of sand along Alabama’s Gulf shoreline is being cut off from naturally supplying Dauphin Island with sands to replenish its beaches.
This is causing the island’s sand starved beaches to erode, with the barrier island becoming more susceptible to erosion and storm surge. Property and revenue losses have been a serious consequence.
As Alabama’s only barrier island, Dauphin Island is essential for protecting Alabama’s mainland marsh dominated shoreline and coastal communities from both non-storm and storm generated waves, while creating optimum estuarine habitat conditions necessary to support Alabama’s important seafood economy.
The purpose of this film is to highlight the erosion caused to Dauphin Island; a consequence of the dredging of the Mobile Harbor Outer Bar Channel for shipping needs.
The Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for dredging of the Mobile Ship Channel in cooperation with the Alabama State Port Authority.
The Corps disposes of the beach quality sands in Gulf waters deeper than 30 feet. As a result, natural nearshore currents are “starved” of valuable and irreplaceable sands that would otherwise replenish Dauphin Island’s beaches.
The existing environmental, social, and economic effects of the erosion are severe, and will eventually impact not only Dauphin Island, but Alabama’s entire western mainland coastline.
Through this film, we seek to raise awareness of this time-sensitive issue and create a call to action to save our coast.