Alabama’s Dauphin Island Whole Again 9 Years After Katrina
DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. (AP) — Nature and a multimillion dollar rock pile built in the Gulf of Mexico after the BP oil spill have healed a large barrier island nine years after it was sliced in two by Hurricane Katrina.
Katrina swamped Alabama’s narrow Dauphin Island in 2005, creating a pass that grew from a few dozen feet to about 1.5 miles wide by the time the oil spill occurred in 2010. The cut left more than 7 miles of pristine beach inaccessible by foot on the island’s uninhabited western end.
But then BP’s Macondo well blew off the coast of Louisiana and spewed oil — and cash — into the Gulf region.
Using about $17 million from BP PLC, the state of Alabama hired contractors to build a line of huge rocks to seal the Dauphin Island cut in 2010 in hope of keeping oil away from the mainland.
Now, sand captured by those same rocks has created a new beach that ranges from a couple hundred yards wide to just a few feet wide. For the first time since August ’05, beachgoers can walk the entire length of Dauphin Island, nearly 17 miles.
Mayor Jeff Collier said he began hearing reports from boaters —> Read More Here