GULF SHORES, Ala. (WKRG) — A beach re-nourishment project for Alabama’s beaches that had been on hold due to government red tape is moving forward. Coastal communities getting word federal money has been released and a project to pump sand back on beaches in Orange Beach, Gulf Shores and Gulf State Park will happen later this year.
One project is already underway to help critically eroded beaches in Gulf Shores.
Earlier this year, we showed you how part of the beach in Gulf Shores had been hammered by surf and storms and had simply washed away leaving boardwalks to nowhere and protective dunes disappearing.
Now, thanks to sand being dredged from Little Lagoon and being pumped onto the coastline, some of that beach is coming back according to Gulf Shores city engineer Mark Acreman. “We have already seen them recover almost a hundred yards of the beach and we’ve seen a vast improvement and we are starting to see the downstream effects of this additional sand being on our beaches.”
This is not a permanent fix. What is happening here will only add a portion of the sand that has been lost according to Acreman. “Given the amount of erosion that we have had in this area everybody is happy to see sand coming back on the beach and we still have our big project which will occur late this summer.”
That project will pump sand back on the beaches from Gulf Shores to Orange Beach, this one, more concentrated. “This will be a thousand to 1500 feet with this operation also assuming we get some natural help from mother nature so the sand that gets put out goes a little bit further,” says Acreman.
What has taken years to wash away is slowly and methodically being put back in place but it will take time to do the job. The pipe, pushing sand and water to build up the beach will likely be here through the summer.