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Letters from Property Owners

Show your support!  Send us your stories...tell us your thoughts, feelings and experiences about the island.  Let's tell everyone that we think Dauphin Island, especially the in-crisis West End, deserves as much funding and maintenance as other coastal communities around the U.S.

To send us a letter of support, click here.  It would be helpful to tell us if you own property on the island, or if you are just someone who loves to visit our little paradise.

There are also short comments from island lovers on our petition site.

A Christmas Eve Evacuation

I am a resident of the west end of Dauphin Island. I am currently away from home, on Active Duty with the United States Army.  I was able to come home for the Christmas Holiday last month and was devastated by the loss of our beach. I was home for less than 24 hours when, on Christmas Eve, I was forced to leave my home because water had over run the island and was beginning to rise on my truck. To share Christmas with family and friends, I had to wade through calf high water with my Christmas gifts in tow, and forced to spend Christmas Eve at the home of a friend.

It is disheartening to think that as I am making a voluntary commitment to serve our country, I am not home to join my neighbors in fighting the battle to save my home. I truly believe in the United States Constitution and hold steadfast to the belief that our elected officials will work for the citizens they represent. I earnestly ask of your time, to listen to my neighbors, hear our concerns and act to save our homes. Serving our country as part of the United States Army is an honor and a privilege for me. I ask that you, as our elected officials, will serve the citizens you represent with the same regard, and help save our homes.

In saving our homes, you will also preserve a barrier island, keep continued access to Alabama's beautiful beaches on the western side of Mobile Bay, and keep Dauphin Island as the ideal family vacation place it has become for so many visitors.

Cindy A.
Bienville Blvd.

Abandoning the Island

Our land on Tristan Ct. was washed away over five years ago by Hurricane Ivan.  It is now completely underwater.  Our home was washed away by Katrina shortly thereafter.  We continue to pay a mortgage on the property in the hope of keeping our credit rating and that someone will help us.  We are not allowed to bulkhead our property nor are we allowed to bring in material that would help slow down erosion.  We feel that we have been abandoned and left hanging in the breeze after years of profitable tax income we have provided the area.  We never would have bought property on the Island if we had known that the shoreline would not be maintained.

I cannot believe that the continued destruction of the Island and the erosion of the tax base will benefit anyone in the long run.  Without some proactive management, we are inviting a much larger resultant destruction of Mobile Bay and the surrounding communities.  Barrier Islands are natureís first line of defense, and for that reason alone, the preservation of the Island is essential to the health of the economy and infrastructure of Mobile County.

I had planned to move with my family to our other property on the Island and build a house there in which to live, but I have decided to sell it at a loss and take my plans to Cape San Blas, Florida, where they have a beach restoration plan in place.  Cape San Blas is a fine example of what a town and county can do to save its shoreline.  They had the exact problems that Dauphin Island has but they DID something about their problem.

Steve B.
Tristan Ct.

Other States Get Help, Why Not Us?

I had a home on the West End that I lost to Hurricane Ivan.  The property brought great enjoyment to our family through the years and our grandchildren spent all their holidays there with us.  Because of the family's love of the Island, I had plans drawn up and planned to start building again when Hurricane Katrina hit.  I put my plans on hold and have been holding since then because of the lack of action in addressing the erosion problem.

My sister owns a home four lots from mine.  She moved her house back but she was denied an extra 15 ft. of variance.  This extra footage would have been very beneficial after the winter storm last Friday.  The water is now lapping once again at her front pilings.

The Island plays a very important part in protecting the mainland during storms.  The sugary-white sand beach is such a gift to this area and it is difficult to understand why immediate action is not being taken to protect this valuable asset.  Action was taken to protect Gulf Shores and Pensacola Beach.  The Federal Government is helping Mississippi and Louisiana with their erosion problem.  I understand they may try to obtain sand from Alabama waters to accomplish this.  I cannot believe our State Officials would permit this.  I am willing and ready to do anything I can to save area.

Sara L.
Bienville Blvd

Why is Mississippi Going to Get Our Sand?

We are extremely concerned with the West End beach erosion.  We should be returning sand to the south beach, rather than leaving it next to the road to be moved further north by high water and subsequent storms.

There does not seem to be a mitigating action plan to deal with the immediate erosion issue. We only hear of a longer term study that is potentially 4 years from even recommending a solution.  Unless a short term solution is put into place, there won't be a West End beach to save.  At the current rate of erosion, it will simply not exist in 4 years.  This would be a devastating loss to the Town of Dauphin Island and to the State of Alabama.

We understand that the State of Mississippi is replenishing its barrier islands with sand from the Alabama area!  What does Dauphin Island need to do to get the erosion issue recognized and become part of this beach renourishment program?

We thank the Task Force for your efforts in representing these very real concerns.  If there is anything we can do to help these efforts, please let us know.

Paul and Sarah V.
Slidell Ct.

Where Are Our State Representatives?

The perception seems to be in some quarters that to try to stabilize and renourish the West End beach would be aiding a bunch of millionaires. In our case, nothing could be further from the truth.

My wife and I retired in 2005, just in time for our retirement savings to take a major hit in the market decline.  We decided to take the remainder and invest in a rental house on Dauphin Island.  Due to the reduction in property values, this seemed like a great move.

We started the house sooner than I really wanted to, because of the Go Zone tax credit.  The house was under construction when Hurricane Gustov and Ike came along.  The resulting damage to the Island and its infrastructure made our completion of construction by the Dec. 31, 2008 Go Zone deadline impossible.

These two storms completely washed away the lot in front of us, putting the water at times of high surf, almost at my front steps.  Had I followed my first plan and delayed my start time to spring of 2009, I never would have started because of the severe erosion and lack of action to combat it. To add insult to injury, the Go Zone tax credit was extended...for Mississippi and Louisiana...but NOT for Alabama!!!

I feel betrayed.  I sit here resigned to losing my house, with no help from my insurance, because the house is built to last, but when it goes in the water, it's game over.

The real frustration is that we sit here with no Go Zone tax credit, because it seems our state leaders and representatives didn't care enough to ask for Alabama to be included in the extension.

I read about the beach re-nourishment plans for the Barrier Islands in both Mississippi and Texas, while the state of Alabama seems to have nothing.

The beach house that we built with the remainder of our retirement savings, not only brings money to the Island, but to the State as well.  Unfortunately, as things stand now, one more storm, and it's all over.

John & Jan C.
Ponce De Leon Ct. & Spanish Ct

Taxation Without Representation

My family has owned property on the island since 1957.  My Dad and Uncle built the first house and it was complete in 1958, the year I was born.  I have lived my entire life going to Dauphin Island to fish, sail and enjoy family and friends.  We have never rented our house, it was always reserved for family, and the original structure predated the Flood Insurance programs we have now.  So to say our family loves Dauphin Island is an understatement.  We were and still are willing to pay the price for paradise.

I had the unsavory pleasure of building the current family house after Ivan took our 46-year old home in 2004.  The new house is almost home again but it has survived more than its share of storms in its short life.  It now sits just 20 steps away from the Gulf on a 2nd tier lot. 

I have watched the island dissolve from beneath our feet over the years, only to accelerate in the most recent years.  I do not live on Dauphin Island and cannot vote there, but I believe it is time to establish whatever residency I need to be able to vote and many of the West End owners need to do the same.  The West End is the economic motor for the Town.  It is insane to allow the motor to wash away.  There seems to be a lack of true concern for the nonvoting, yet taxpaying owners on the West End.

Ed D.
Tampico Ct.

Don't Lose the Tax Base

Please do whatever is necessary to restore some protection to the West End. It cannot survive another hurricane season without a berm/artificial dune/sea wall to keep the water out. The loss of the West End as a tourist destination would be devastating even to those who live on the East End, as the tax base would not provide sufficient funding to keep DIís infrastructure intact.

Alice M.
Ryan Court

Reflections at the Edge of the World

Thank you for your continuing updates and to let you know that I support your efforts on Dauphin Island and particularly toward an interim solution for the West End. Having had a small second tier beach house on the far West End which I purchased after Hurricane Georges, I have seen the first tier lots gradually erode and the houses on most of them are of course now gone. Without at least some interim steps now, the second tier lots - if theoretically still buildable - will be gone soon, then just 100 feet more for the third tier and then the Gulf will be at the edge of the road easement. As you might expect, my second tier house -- "Reflections," or as I liked to think of it, "Reflections at the Edge of the World" -- was gone with Kartina.

Hopefully the efforts will be productive or our treasure in the sun will continue to gradually disappear!

Again, thanks for your efforts.

Carter M.

Dismay at the erosion

I appreciate your updates about the Westend beach and your efforts to help save our Westend. I am amazed and greatly dismayed at the rapid erosion of the far Westend beach.

Paul M.
Raphael Semmes St.

Memories of a Beach

It is shocking to see how much of Dauphin Island is vanishing before our very eyes.  The beach has always waxed and waned but never to this extent, and never this rapidly.  We used to be able to walk along the Gulf side for miles.  Now we have to walk under people's houses, or turn back.  Seems to me if the West End is lost that at least half the tourism revenue for the entire island will be lost.

Laura M.
Portier Court

A 38-year Love Affair

I have been coming to Dauphin Island for over 38 years, enjoying the peace and tranquility of a wonderful island and through the years as I have had children who have been able to come and enjoy.  We have always rented on the West End of the island and now as our family has grown, we have invested in a "second home" on the west end so all of our family (50 members strong) can enjoy, too.  Please help the owners on the West End of Dauphin Island preserve the shoreline and a wonderful place for families to come.

Judy L.
Bienville Blvd

Critical Situation

As a property owner on the west end of Dauphin Island, I am very concerned about the beach erosion and flooding situation. When we have extreme high tides, the road is covered with water. The situation is getting very critical and needs immediate attention.

Gary K.
Bienville Blvd

Act Before It's Too Late

I am a West End property owner.  I have been vacationing with my family on the island my whole life and it holds a special and dear place in my heart, and forever will.  I am greatly concerned with the erosion of the beach.  There is much need for the town, county, state, and/or federal governments to act before it is too late.  Thank you for your lead in trying to solve this problem.

Ginny S.
Bienville Blvd.

We Need a Plan

I am extremely worried about the future of our beach and the significant erosion that has taken place.  I believe it is very important that the town, state or federal government implement a plan to try to stop this before our beach is lost forever.  Thank you for your help!

Jill F.
Bienville Blvd

Even the North Shore is Threatened

My property is not located on the beach, not even on the south side of Bienville Blvd.  My house on the NORTH side of Bienville has been washed out three times in the past 18 months.  I'm afraid that this location could easily become the next break in the island with a major storm.  This is only approximately one mile from the school house.
Sam M.
Bienville Blvd.

Short Term Fix Needed as Stop-Gap Measure

As a property owner on the West End, we are very worried about the future of it. We have seen serious erosion of the beach over the last year. Without immediate action, the West End may be lost. A short term fix is needed to protect it from further erosion while a long term solution is developed and implemented.

John & Nancy R.
Surf Ct.

A Shocking Loss of Land

My wife and I own an empty lot which had a home on it at prior to Hurricane Katrina.

We viewed the recent online videos to see a shocking loss of land on and around our lot, with the surf scouring sand around adjacent residencesí wood pilings (their primary foundation system), resulting in putting these homes in jeopardy of collapse and at least no buffer for future weather events. 

The time for action is now and should include restoring the sand from where it came to stabilize the fierce erosion happening now.  Please keep us informed on the progress and actions resulting from the Task Force.

Stephen S.
Vaca Ct.

House in Water.  Help!  Anyone?

We are very concerned about the erosion on the West End Beach on Dauphin Island.  Our house is in the water.  We have no power or city water.  Our insurance company is not making any promises to re-new our flood coverage.  What can we do to get help with the problem? 

Nat and Shelly J.
Tampico Ct.

The Peace and Tranquility Are Gone

My lot is getting smaller and smaller.  This was a beautiful island that provided peace and tranquility to all who visited.  The houses were mostly modest and the people friendly. Now it seems the West End, though not dead, is slowly dying.  There is no peace, no tranquility, and not many houses left.  But there are some good people left who are very interested in keeping the Island alive.  Thank you for your effort and I hope and pray our Island will survive.

Doug S.

Action, Not Rhetoric

We are very concerned about the status of the west end of Dauphin Island.  In the past six months there has been considerable erosion and it seems to be continuing at an increasing rate from rain, even without high winds.  It seems imperative that action, not just rhetoric, must be done now.   Our leaders and government representatives should demand financial support to reverse beach erosion, as is being done for adjacent barrier islands in Mississippi and Gulf Shores.  Dauphin Island is as important to Alabama as any other coastal locality. What makes the West End more expendable than the East End?

John & Rosemarie M.
Bienville Blvd.

Save the West End!

As an owner of a home on Dauphin Island, I am gravely concerned about the emergency situation on the west end of the island.  Failure to act immediately will result in the permanent loss of a large source of tax base for the State of Alabama, Mobile County and the City of Dauphin Island.  Additionally, failure to immediately stabilize and replace the  beach area will lead to the eventual permanent loss to this barrier island resulting in loss of wildlife and endangering the mainland during future storms.  Dauphin Island is a natural resource that serves to bring tourist dollars to the community and the state. The loss this revenue is already adversely affecting the region.  We urge the responsible  parties to take immediate action before all is lost.

Linda C.

Does Anyone Care?

We had enjoyed our beautiful Gulf front beach house for over twenty years.  Now the beach house is gone.  In fact the property on which the beach house stood is now completely under water.  Every day the beach erosion is eating away at the West End beaches.  I fear before too long the area where our home was on Treasure Court will split the island in half.  Then what?

Does anyone care?  We desperately need to take action.

Ernie & Gloria O.
Treasure Ct.

Time for a West End Property Owners Association?

My wifeís grandmother bought the 7th house ever built on the West End and kept it until Hurricane Ivan destroyed it.  My wifeís parents owned several West End houses over a 30 year period, and we have owned a home on the far West End (Sound side) for about 15 years.  We love it.  Always have, always will.  West End taxes are a significant part of the townís total tax revenue, yet little has been been done of late to maintain West End infrastructure.  Even the road is covered in sand.  It will take money and political organization to change what is happening there.  And all of this discussion is taking place absent a hurricane in years.  There seems to be no sense of urgency to get things fixed.  Maybe it is time for a well organized West End Property Owners Association.

Paul and Vanessa W.
Bienville Blvd

We Must Be United

My wife and I own three lots on both sides of Bienville Blvd.  We have seen much of the West End disappear.  We are most concerned about the future of the West End and the Mon Louis Island shoreline that is at risk if nothing continues to be done.  There must be intelligent, united action by the property owners and all levels of government to help the Mayor and the Town Council act effectively.  Thank you for your efforts.

Thomas P.
Bienville Blvd

What About Jetties?

We are withholding rebuilding after Katrina until the West End beach is reestablished and stabilized.  Why canít jetties be used to minimize erosion and capture moving sand?  New Jersey stabilized their beaches that way 50 years ago.

A Surf Ct. Resident

Act Before It's Too Late

As a property owner on Dauphin Island, I am very concerned with the erosion of the beach.  It would be beneficial to all if the town, county, state and/or federal governments would implement a plan to stop this problem before it's too late.

Dan S.
Bienville Blvd

Save Our Homes (and the new West End Beach)

My wife and I wish you success in working with the Mayor and Town Council to bring interim protection to Dauphin Islandís beautiful west end. We hope for a longer term solution to the erosion issues but in the meantime it is important that we keep some island to protect later. My wife and I donít want to lose our home and we donít want the town to lose an important source of tax revenue, or the land they recently purchased on the far west end. We should indeed all be in this together.

Paul & Vanessa W.
Bienville Blvd

Occam's Razor

Please fix the shoreline ! !

LeAnne J.

Beautiful Beach

I am not a property owner on Dauphin Island but I love it and visit it whenever I can. All of the island is beautiful, and we should work to preserve it all. But the West End is in crisis and if it is allowed to just wash away, it won't be the same Dauphin Island anymore. We don't want to lose that beautiful beach where you can walk for miles and miles into the sunset.




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