Caring For The Alabama Gulf Coast
Initiatives to follow and how your group can help while you’re here.
Thirty-two miles of sugar-white sand. Sea turtles nesting along the beach. Rolling waves washing and depositing delicate seashells along the shoreline. These are just a few of the wonders that make the Alabama Gulf Coast unique for locals and visitors. Whether you call it “home” or “home away from home,” we need your help preserving this slice of paradise for generations to come.
Leave Only Footprints is a collaborative effort that began in 2007 to educate locals and visitors on how to keep our beaches clean, and in 2015 the program was expanded and took on the LOF name. As the name suggests, visitors along the beach should leave only footprints upon departure with no trace of trash or debris. All items left overnight or put out before sunrise are disposed of by beach patrol. This ensures safety for the wildlife and the millions of people who travel to our beaches annually.
Sea turtle nesting season is May 1 through October 31. Local volunteer group Share the Beach helps protect the babies by monitoring sections of the beach, setting up perimeters and signs around the nests that are buried in the sand and “sitting” with nests nightly when they are getting ready to hatch. It is crucial that the eggs as well as the nest remain undisturbed! Once they hatch, baby sea turtles will naturally find their way to the water and begin their life, one day returning to create a nest of their own. Visitors can help by filling in holes they dug, using filters for flashlights on the beach at night (you can pick them up at our welcome centers) and picking up any debris or trash found on the beach.
The Oyster Shell Recycling Program began in 2016 when a need was identified to increase oyster beds in our area. Local restaurants now clean and then recycle used oyster shells by placing them back in the water to create oyster beds for a natural habitat. This expands the number of oysters grown locally. To help, thank the restaurants that participate in the program and be sure to try out their fresh oysters!
Volunteer opportunities are a great way to improve team skills and unite your group behind one common cause. Our area is home to unique and wonderful wildlife species that need our help.
We encourage visitors to contact us to schedule a group volunteer activity during your stay.