On Dauphin Island, Acquiring Land Is for the Birds

The Alabama Trustee Implementation Group marked another major milestone as the State of Alabama recently completed acquisition of a large parcel of land on the west end of Dauphin Island. The acquisition conserves habitat for coastal bird populations that are dependent on the area. Located near the mouth of Mobile Bay, Dauphin Island is a 166 square mile barrier island.

The island’s western end includes about 838 acres of coastal habitat, which until recently was privately owned. The Dauphin Island West End Acquisition project was approved as part of the Alabama Restoration Plan III and Environmental Assessment in December 2019.

The 838 acres is a diverse coastal habitat made up of dunes, marshes, and beaches. Sea turtle and several bird species use these habitats for nesting. Neotropical migratory birds use the area as a prime resting spot during migrations.

Among the bird species present at the west end of Dauphin Island is the piping plover. Piping plovers are a threatened species within their Alabama range, and are protected under the Endangered Species Act. Conserving this parcel of land will ensure that the sensitive coastal habitat is protected for years to come.

READ MORE at gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov