At a Glance

The master plan relates ecological function and health to recreational and economic vitality along the Alabama Gulf Coast.

Project Description

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 provided 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 also evaluated 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 were integrated into the Park master plan to ensure a holistic approach to environmental management and future sustainable development.




Physiographic Province

Coastal Lowlands


Perdido Bay

Expertise Areas

Climate Change, Coastal, Community, Conservation, Ecological Restoration, Infrastructure, Water


The State of Alabama and the State of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources


Gulf Shores, Alabama, United States

Project Team
  • Sasaki Associates