Posted on July 5, 2022
The city of Gulf Shores is holding a public meeting for its upcoming beach nourishment project. The meeting is at six tonight at the Gulf Shores City Council Chambers. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Orange Beach representatives and coastal engineers will answer questions about the project. The project will restore beach lands at Gulf State Park and various parts of Orange Beach. Beach nourishment is when sand is dredged from the bottom of the gulf and pumped back onto shore. Engineer Mark Acreman says beach nourishment will help ward off any major damage from future hurricanes.
“It provides resiliency to our Gulf Coast area,” said Acreman. “It’s kind of like having airbags in a car. These are the airbags for our coastline. They take the brunt of the impact. We lose dune, we lose beach, but what we don’t lose are homes, roadways, water, sewer [and] power.”
Acreman anticipates the project to take six months. Representatives are hoping to start dredging this September or October. It’s a joint project between the cities of Orange Beach and Gulf Shores and the Department of Conservation and Wildlife. Ninety-five percent of funds will come from FEMA due to damages from Hurricanes Nate and Sally. The project is anticipated to start this fall and end next spring. Acreman says both cities are aware of how the project might affect residents and the area’s animal species.
“We’re very mindful of our endangered wildlife that are along the coastline,” he said. “We are incredibly mindful also of the impacts it will have to the residents as it moves through the coastline, but I think they are going to be very impressed and amazed at the speed at which these projects develop. They’re typically only in front of a residence for a day. They’re in and out.”
This is the fourth beach restoration project in the area since 2000.