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19 04, 2017

The legend of the sand dollar

By |April 19th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Have you ever found a whole sand dollar on the beach? Lots of folks look for them, but it’s a treasure when you find one still intact.

Sand dollars are actually burrowing sea urchins. When they wash up on the beach and are bleached by the sun, they look like a large silver coin, hence the moniker.

A legend about these creatures says they represent the story of Christ:

On the top of the shell is a symbol that looks like a star, a […]

12 04, 2017

Be responsible when you see marine life in the wild

By |April 12th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Visitors to the Alabama coast love to watch dolphins and other marine life in the wild. It is truly an amazing, breathtaking sight to experience.

Often, dolphins can be admired from the beach. But when we venture out on a boat, we humans can be too much for them. When we approach wild dolphins too closely, move too fast or make too much noise, we risk disturbing their natural behaviors such as migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding and sheltering.

No one wants […]

5 04, 2017

Rip currents: be smart

By |April 5th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Do you know how to swim safely on our Alabama beaches? Following the beach flag warning system is one way. But knowing how to escape a rip current can also be lifesaving.

Rip currents can occur at any beach with breaking waves, and most often form at low spots or breaks in sandbars. They can also form near piers and jetties. You may not be able to see a rip current, but there are signs of one, such as a break in […]

29 03, 2017

Know the warning signs: Just what do those beach flags mean?

By |March 29th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

You see those colored flags flying at the beach, but do you know why they are there? Educate yourself about the beach warning flag system to safely enjoy our beaches.

In general, think of the flags like traffic lights. Red means stop. Green means go. Yellow means proceed with caution. But even if the green flag is flapping in the breeze, always be careful and swim where there is a lifeguard on duty.

Just because there is no flag, that does not […]

22 03, 2017

Protect the environment (and yourself) with these responsible boating tips

By |March 22nd, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Ready to get that boat in the water for the season? We hear you! It’s that time of year. Whether your boat is a small sailboat, skiff, pontoon or large fishing vessel, use responsible practices while out on the water.

There are simple tips that are just common courtesy. Don’t toss trash overboard, for example. Or watch your wake when boating near the shore, as it can wash away early sea life that grows there.

But there are other aspects to responsible […]

15 03, 2017

Learn cool ways to preserve beach treasures

By |March 15th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Are you a beachcomber? Are you always on the lookout for a unique shell, sand dollar or piece of driftwood?

There is some cool stuff along our beaches, no doubt about it. But just how do you protect and preserve those little treasures you pick up on your morning walk?

Glad you asked!

The first step is to keep them clean. Soak a sand dollar in fresh water and change the water frequently until it stays clear. Then soak the sand dollar in […]

8 03, 2017

Discover the Alabama Coastal Birding Trail

By |March 8th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Do you enjoy watching wildlife? Do you carry binoculars in your car and keep a notebook of the birds you see along the way?

The Alabama Coastal Birding Trail offers avid birdwatchers the opportunity to view an abundance of birds, including those pelicans that fly in formation over the water and the great blue herons that feed at the water’s edge.

Starting in northern Baldwin County, the trail includes the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta Loop where birders may spot yellow-crowned night herons, red-shoulder hawks, […]

22 02, 2017

There’s no such thing as a seagull

By |February 22nd, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Did you know there is really no such thing as a seagull? Sounds crazy, right? We have all seen them at the beach. And even the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a seagull as a “gull frequenting the sea.”

But technically, those birds you see can encompass a range of species – at least 28 types in North America. In birding circles, they are just referred to as “gulls,” part of the species family Laridae.

The ones we often catch sight of on our […]

15 02, 2017

Have soaring fun with these kite-flying tips

By |February 15th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

There are few things as relaxing as flying a kite. And a kite is a common sight on the beautiful Alabama beaches. March and April provide ideal wind conditions for this activity that entertains kids of all ages. (And by that, we mean adults, too!)

Kite-flying equipment is pretty simple. You need a kite with a tail, some string, and a handle. That’s pretty much it – you are good to go!

First thing you need to do is make sure you […]

8 02, 2017

How do sand fences help beach restoration?

By |February 8th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Restoring sugary-white sand dunes that cover the equivalent of 50 football fields is part of a $135 million project announced in July 2016 for Gulf State Park. Several internationally renowned experts collaborated on developing the environmentally sensitive projects at the park. The state will use 2010 oil spill funds from BP – not taxes – for the project.

Part of the restoration project requires creating openings in the existing berm so sand dunes can form naturally. Other strategies include the use […]