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,
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
A Christmas Eve
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.
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.
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.
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
Other States Get Help,
Why Not Us?
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.
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.
Why is Mississippi
Going to Get Our Sand?
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.
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
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.
Where Are Our State
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.
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.
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!!!
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Reflections at the Edge of the
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Act Before It's Too
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.
We Need a Plan
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!
Even the North Shore
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.
Short Term Fix Needed
as Stop-Gap Measure
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.
A Shocking Loss of
wife and I own an empty lot which had a home on it at prior to Hurricane
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
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
House in Water.
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.
The Peace and
Tranquility Are Gone
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.
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?
& Rosemarie M.
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.
Does Anyone Care?
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.
Does anyone care? We desperately need to take action.
Ernie & Gloria O.
Time for a West End
Property Owners Association?
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
Paul and Vanessa W.
We Must Be United
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
What About Jetties?
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.
Surf Ct. Resident
Act Before It's Too
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.
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
Paul & Vanessa W.
Please fix the shoreline ! !
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.