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Artificial Beach Project

University of South Alabama Mobile Bay, Alabama

Click on the small picture to see a larger size.

Photo 1: Many people say the most beautiful view of Mobile Bay is from the second green of the Gulf Pines Golf Course at the University of South Alabama. As a result of an artificial beach built with a grant for $164,500 from the Gulf of Mexico Program, the view will remain beautiful as shoreline erosion is prevented.
Many people say the most beautiful view of Mobile Bay is...
Photo 2: The shoreline leading up to the green was slowly being eaten away by the force of the bay. In this photo, you can see the artificial beach has lessened a severe drop off that previously existed. The bulkhead in the background was built for decorative as opposed to functional reasons.
The shoreline leading up to the green was slowly being eaten away...
Photo 3: Dr. Scott Douglass, a professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of South Alabama and a team of researchers corrected the erosion problem and protected the critical habitat that supports aquatic animals by back-filling the breakwater protected area with sand and stone. By doing this, they were able to diminish the force and energy of the waves.
...By doing this, they were able to diminish the force and energy of the waves.
Photo 4: According to Douglass, artificial beaches are an affordable alternative to bulkheads. This particular artificial beach passed its first test in September 1998, when it survived the 70-mile-per-hour winds and eight-foot water levels of Hurricane Georges.  Prior to construction of the beach, the pine trees in the background were in front of a 10- to 15-foot drop.
According to Douglass, artificial beaches are an affordable alternative to bulkheads...
Photo 5: Douglass said that between 1955 and 1997, bulkheads in Mobile Bay increased from eight to 30 percent and that several miles of beach were lost as well as 20 acres of beach habitat. Mobile Bay is one of the Gulf of Mexico Program's 12 priority areas. This particular project supports the goal of maintaining and improving Gulf habitats that support living resources. Though a local project, it will benefit the populace of the entire Gulf of Mexico by insuring aquatic animals have a place in which to mature and grow - a positive impact on the entire Gulf ecosystem: one large community with one very valuable Gulf to protect.
Mobile Bay is one of the Gulf of Mexico Program's 12 priority areas.
Photo 6: Dr. Scott Douglass, professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of South Alabama in Mobile.
Dr. Scott Douglass, professor in the Department of Civil Engineering...
Photo 7: University of South Alabama graduate student Brad Pickel.
University of South Alabama graduate student Brad Pickel.
 

 
Link to the University of South Alabama, Artificial Beach Project Web Page.Exit Disclaimer

Gulf of Mexico Program Office
Mail Code: EPA/GMPO
Stennis Space Center, MS 39529-6000
228-688-3726
FAX: 228-688-2709


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