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A Letter from Stan Graves to U.S. Fish & Wildlife
Regarding BP Oil Spill Settlement Restoration Funding

February 7, 2012 


Ms. Cynthia K. Dohner, Southeast Regional Director

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

1875 Century Blvd NE, Suite 400

Atlanta, GA  30345


Dear Ms. Dohner,


I have just learned that a public comment period is about to expire concerning the Early Restoration Funds BP has made available for the “Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Phase 1 Early Restoration and Environmental Assessment (DEPP/EA).  The comment period, as I understand, will expire February 14th. I would like to this opportunity to provide comments for the restoration planning efforts for the State of Alabama portion of the impact area as an individual and as a member of the Dauphin Island Property Owners Board of Directors, which represents over 3,000 members of the Association.  I do want to state that I am not writing this letter as representing the Board of Directors, but am attempting to provide comments that I believe affects the 3000+ members of the Association.


As I understand, there is approximately $100 million allocated as Alabama’s share of the restorations funds, and that $90 million of  those funds have not yet been allocated to any project.  I respectfully request and encourage the Trustees to strongly consider a project that would provide greater long-term benefits not only to Alabama estuarine resources but also for Mississippi’s.  That project involves restoring Dauphin Island’s highly eroded Gulf shoreline.


The Town of Dauphin Island is in a unique position today having already completed a study in 2011 that developed the engineering and design data for a shoreline restoration project as well as locating suitable offshore sand sources for the restoration and stabilization project. Scott Douglass, the Town’s Coastal Engineer, who performed the study, estimated about $71 million would be required for the restoration and stabilization of the shoreline.  In addition, the Town of Dauphin Island has already begun the Corps of Engineers permit application process to prepare the project for immediate construction.  All that is needed is the necessary funds required for construction.


Approving allocation of funds for the restoration project and stabilization project, would reverse the severe erosion problems that have resulted from the long-term disposal practices related to dredging of the Mobile Ship Channel to the devastating hurricanes of the 2000 decade. To help control the oil spill effects, Dauphin Island had a berm built to prevent the oil from encroaching onto the beach and infrastructure of Dauphin Island.  Unfortunately, the dredging of sand on the north side of the Island has created points where the Island could be easily breached.  Time may not be on our side from a breach occurring given the local history of Dauphin Island when its west end was severed by Hurricane Katrina.  Approval of funding would also help to prevent a significant breach from occurring again, as well as protecting the Island from further erosion. 


Also, approving funds for a project to restore and stabilize Dauphin Island’s shoreline would provide other important environmental benefits:


  • Strengthen Alabama's only barrier island

  • Protect Alabama's largest continuous salt marsh habitat in the Mississippi Sound

  • Protect the oyster reefs that have gone into being brought back to life

  • Protect the inshore estuarine habitats of the Mississippi that serve as important nursery areas for many commercial and recreational species that depend on this area

  • Protect the Island from the forces of tropical storms and hurricanes that have damaged and eroded the beaches and dunes that have previously protected the Island.

  • Dauphin Island acts as the protector of the mainland/Mobile County coastline.

  • Help to re-establish critical nursery areas/dunes for sea turtles and other important animals such as the piping clover and other shoreline birds.

  • Provide a protection for existing structures on Dauphin Island

  • Contribute to the integrity of integrity of our neighbor state's barrier island's through improvement of sand movement westward through the littoral system and their marsh and oyster habitats.


By this letter, I am requesting that the NRDA Trustees consider and approve the funds necessary to restore and stabilize the Dauphin Island’s entire Gulf shoreline.   Thank you for your consideration.



Stan Graves

Dauphin Island Property Owner

Member DIPOA Board of Directors




Mr. N. Gunter Guy, Jr., Commissioner

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources


Ms. Patti Powell, Director

State Lands Division

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources


Mr. Will Brantley

State Lands Division – Coastal Section

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources  


Mr. Ben Frader

NRDA Field Office

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 


Mr. David G. Westerholm, Director

Office of Response and Restoration

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


Dr. Barry H. Tew, Jr.

Geological Survey of Alabama


Copyright © Dauphin Island Restoration




Copyright © Dauphin Island Restoration