Gulf State Park Master Plan
In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, early restoration funds were made available for a master plan to restore and enhance over 6,000 acres of Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores, AL. The master planning process aims to create a national model for natural resource restoration and economic revitalization along the historic Alabama Gulf Coast. The goal is for the park to be an international benchmark for economic and environmental sustainability, demonstrating best practices for outdoor recreation, education, and hospitable accommodations.
The Park sits at the nexus of some of the most unique and sensitive natural resources within the state of Alabama. The ravaging effects of hurricanes over the last several years have devastated the park’s woodlands, destroyed the dunes, and inundated lowland areas with saltwater. Working with the owner’s agent, the University of Alabama’s Gulf State Park Project, a Project of the University of Alabama Board of Trustees, Biohabitats is providing an ecological assessment of the beach/dune portion of the park–focusing on ecological health, dune function, sensitive wildlife habitats, and integrated green infrastructure and restoration opportunities. Biohabitats is also evaluating sea level rise, as well as the primary and secondary dune movement over time and how that can inform future development at the park. These considerations are integrated into the Park master plan to ensure a holistic approach to environmental management and future sustainable development.