Help Us Protect and Restore Alabama’s Premier Barrier Island

Dauphin Island has been compromised over the years as a result of numerous storms and ineffective sand-bypassing practices. Dauphin Island provides an important first line of defense for mainland Mobile County, the Mississippi Sound and the critical habitats that support the Alabama seafood industry.



Misson Statement

A vital element of Dauphin Island’s heritage can be found in its irreplaceable beaches which serve the public through the protection of mainland Mobile and marsh areas, as well as the critical habitats that support the Alabama seafood industry. Project Restore Dauphin Island is committed to the restoration and preservation of the integrity of Dauphin Island.

History of Destruction 

Hurricane Frederic 1979


Photo by the National Weather Service


Hurricane Danny 1997


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Photo by the National Weather Service


Hurricane Ivan 2004

Photo by National Weather Service

Hurricane Katrina 2005

Photo by NASA

The Damage That Hit Home

A closer look at the environmental damage that is destroying houses on Dauphin Island.

These photographs show overwash deposits extending roughly half way across the island after Ivan, while the post-Katrina photography shows overwash sand extending nearly the entire island width.


Damage photographed by the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center

Reasons to Restore

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Dauphin Island, working as a barrier island, provides natural and extensive protection of mainland Mobile and marsh areas. This island not only protects families from horrific storms; it also protects the beautiful and diverse sea life flourishing in its waters, as well as the endangered turtle and bird habitats.


The incredible wildlife that Dauphin Island sustains also betters the economy of the island and nearby communities. The shrimp, fish, crab, and oyster populations provide local jobs and contribute food to local markets and restaurants.

Public Use

Dauphin Island is the sunset capital of Alabama and is known as a place that offers beautiful views for all people to enjoy. This island also provides opportunities for visitors and inhabitants to take delight in fishing, public beaches, camping, birding and tours of historic Fort Gaines.


Restoration Projects

The town of Dauphin Island has developed a plan to save the barrier island, which includes two shoreline restoration projects and a change in the way the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers disposes of the sand it routinely dredges from the Mobile Ship Channel

The town launched its ambitious plan in 2016, using $7 million in grants to restore nearly a mile of highly eroding beach on the east end by nourishing it with 320,000 cubic yards of beach-quality sand. Next, by partnering with state and federal agencies, the town hopes to pump about 3.5 million cubic yards of sand onto more than 4 miles of shoreline on the west end. Meanwhile, it is working with the Corps of Engineers and Alabama’s congressional delegation to develop a more beneficial placement of dredged sand. Ultimately, the projects will provide for:
    • wider sandy beaches (100 feet on east end, 200 feet on west end),
    • higher sand dunes behind the beach (up to 12 feet above sea level on the west end),
    • planting of native vegetation in the new dune fields,
    • sandy beach habitat for turtles as well as nesting and migratory birds, and,
    • improved storm protection for the existing homes and public infrastructure The new sand will be clean, beach-quality sand pumped from an offshore source (a mile south-southwest of the Sand Island Lighthouse).

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