At Gulf Shores Plantation, a wooden boardwalk has always been the gateway between condominiums and the sandy white beaches of the Fort Morgan peninsula.
As vacationers happily cross the boardwalk to reach the Gulf of Mexico, they are able to view sand dunes, which act as valuable habitat for creatures, such as beach mice, sea turtles, and shore birds.
For years, residents have been co-existing with wildlife habitat -- enjoying nature’s gifts and working with us to help stop their extinction.
But in 2004, Hurricane Ivan wiped out that boardwalk, along with sand dunes on the beach. When it was rebuilt, it sat too low on the flattened beach.
As the dunes began to rebuild, they didn’t have any vegetation, making them unstable. Soon, winds covered the boardwalk with sand. Many vacationers and snow birds had no access to the beach.
“We have a lot of elderly and disabled people who rely on that boardwalk. But when the sand overtook it, access to the beach was cut off,” explained Boardwalk Committee Chairman Robert Bush. “Mothers couldn’t even push strollers over the thick sand.”