Room 202A
Jan 25, 2023 09:35 AM - 10:35 AM(America/Chicago)
20230125T0935 20230125T1035 America/Chicago Dedicated Session: Dauphin Island: Managing Rising Tides and Shifting Sands to Maintain Balance Between Nature, Culture, and Economy Room 202A 2023 Bays and Bayous Symposium mbnep@mobilebaynep.com
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Dauphin Island Watershed Management Plan: Building on the Past to Plan for a Sustainable and Resilient Future
09:35 AM - 10:35 AM (America/Chicago) 2023/01/25 15:35:00 UTC - 2023/01/25 16:35:00 UTC
Dauphin Island is a barrier island with a rich cultural and ecological heritage which draws tens of thousands of visitors every year from across the United States. Historical and recent hurricanes and made-made disasters such as Hurricanes Ivan (2004), Katrina (2005), and the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill (2010) have resulted in substantial ecological changes on the Island. These events, coupled with significant increase in housing development, have resulted in the loss and degradation of natural habitats, including wetlands, seagrasses, beach and dune habitats, and maritime forest. Impacts from a changing climate, including sea level rise and coastal storms, continue to damage these habitats, threatening the ecological resources and local economy. To address these issues, a watershed management plan was developed in collaboration with the MBNEP, Town of Dauphin Island, Mobile County, and ADCNR to engage the community and its stakeholders to protect, restore, and enhance the Island's ecological assets while simultaneously implementing innovative solutions to promote and sustain the Island's human community and economy. This presentation will discuss some of the challenges and opportunities that were encountered in developing this plan as the community sought balance between economic resiliency and coastal resiliency, while struggling to maintain its cultural heritage and natural beauty.
Presenters
CW
Chris Warn
ESA
Leveraging Adaptation Pathways to Identify Vulnerabilities and Opportunities for Resilience in Dauphin Island, AL
09:35 AM - 10:35 AM (America/Chicago) 2023/01/25 15:35:00 UTC - 2023/01/25 16:35:00 UTC
Adaptation pathways were developed for Dauphin Island by employing morphodynamic modeling and science extension methodologies, and engaging community leadership and members. Pathways identify ways to increase resilience by protecting built infrastructure and are comprised of several adaptation strategies for barrier island adaptation to future hurricanes and sea-level rise (SLR). The strategies are arranged based on their effectiveness in protecting the island from damage. "Tipping points" are identified as the moment a strategy no longer meets its original objective of mitigating storm damage, necessitating the implementation of another strategy. Four adaptation pathways were created for Dauphin Island: the east end pathway used overwash of saltwater into a freshwater source as a tipping point; and the three middle west end pathways used barrier island breaching, overwash onto Bienville Blvd, and overall island elevation as tipping points. The pathways show that, ultimately, beach nourishment is an effective strategy to mitigate damage to the Gulf-side of the island, but the backbarrier inundates as seas rise without raising backbarrier elevations. The adaptation pathways developed from this work identify best practices for increasing barrier island resilience to hurricanes under varying levels of SLR while also improving the understanding of developed barrier island responses to future storms. The pathways also inform coastal management officials of the critical moment to implement a certain adaptation strategy based on observed SLR rather than uncertain long-term predictions, thereby reducing unnecessary costs.
Presenters
SP
Stephanie Patch
University Of South Alabama
Co-Authors
RC
Renee Collini
Mississippi State University/Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium
Strategic Habitat Acquisition on Dauphin Island
09:35 AM - 10:35 AM (America/Chicago) 2023/01/25 15:35:00 UTC - 2023/01/25 16:35:00 UTC
Strategic land acquisition on Dauphin Island over the last five years, by multiple groups, have now placed over 50% of the island under conservation for barrier island habitat value. With the purchase of the west end of Dauphin Island with NRDA funds, some 838 acres of beach and dune habitat is now under Town ownership and a management plan is being drafted with support from Mobile County and ADCNR. With the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, The Nature Conservancy helped to secure 9.4 acres of beach and dune habitat connecting to the public beach in the middle of the island, which was recently turned over to the Town. The Dauphin Island Bird Sanctuaries land trust and partner, the South Alabama Land Trust, also with NFWF GEBF, has helped to purchase some 20+ acres of contiguous forested wetlands on the east end, that are protected by a conservation easement in perpetuity. These strategic land purchases help to preserve unique and diverse barrier island habitats; the subsequent management will be important for restoring and maintaining these habitats in the long term.
Presenters
MG
Meg Goecker
Moffatt & Nichol
Restoring Little Dauphin Island through Collaborative Partnerships
09:35 AM - 10:35 AM (America/Chicago) 2023/01/25 15:35:00 UTC - 2023/01/25 16:35:00 UTC
Little Dauphin Island is an extremely valuable coastal feature located just north of the east end of Dauphin Island, Alabama. A significant portion of the island is owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) as part of the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge and the remaining part was recently purchased by Mobile County from private ownership. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, partnered with the FWS, Mobile County, the State of Alabama, the Town of Dauphin Island, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, is leading a collaborative effort to restore the coastal resource and ensure the future resilience of the island, the critical habitat it provides, and the protection it yields to the northern populated shoreline of Dauphin Island. Little Dauphin Island is currently breached in three locations and has experienced significant erosion due to storms and sea level change. Additionally, one of the breaches resulted in substantial impacts to the adjacent federal navigation channel and surrounding private properties.
This presentation will focus on the role each organization is playing to make the holistic restoration of Little Dauphin Island a sustainable reality, and it will highlight the collaborative value of leveraging technical capabilities and financial resources across multiple agencies for a common goal.
Presenters
JM
Justin McDonald
U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers
Creating Place in Paradise
09:35 AM - 10:35 AM (America/Chicago) 2023/01/25 15:35:00 UTC - 2023/01/25 16:35:00 UTC
Over the years, Dauphin Island, Alabama has been impacted by many events or disasters and each of these places a surprising strain on the Town. When these events or disasters occur, the tourism industry - the life blood of the community - practically disappears. As a recent example, the Town spent nearly $2 million in 2019/2020 in excess of disaster assistance funds on infrastructure, clean-up, and recovery from multiple storms. Considering the Town's annual budget is typically only $4 million, that 50%+ expenditure for recovery represents a significant impact to the Town. Town Leadership began to recognize these vulnerabilities and the need for both physical and fiscal resiliency many years ago. Following Hurricane Katrina in 2007 the Town adopted an ambitious Strategic Plan in which a town center was envisioned along a central and protected area called Aloe Bay. The plan included revitalizing a true working waterfront which builds upon the past, and creates a small mixed-use area with commercial fishing, eco-tourism activities, housing and retail space. This represented a significant consideration by the community to recognize Aloe Bay as a point of economic sustainability for the Town into the future. Following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, the Town chose to leverage these ideas as part of a funding request to the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council, resulting in the Town being awarded over $16.5 million for physical improvements to make this vision a reality through the Aloe Bay Town Center Master Plan.
Presenters
BB
Brandon Bias
Goodwyn Mills & Cawood, Inc.
Co-Authors
RS
Robbie Strom
Goodwyn Mills & Cawood, Inc.
University of South Alabama
Moffatt & Nichol
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Goodwyn Mills & Cawood, Inc.
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