Auburn to create coastal research station at Orange Beach

Engineering center will study effects of natural and man-made disasters and more

The new facility will be just down the coast from the Auburn University Educational Complex at Gulf Shores, which provides veterinary care, aviation instruction, research partnership opportunities and Alabama Extension support for the region.

Auburn University trustees have approved establishment of a coastal engineering research center at Orange Beach.

“The project will provide dedicated space for research of coastal environments and communities of the Gulf Coast, while also providing collaborative opportunities with other Marine Environmental Sciences Consortium institutions,” the university said in announcing the plans.

The center will be built on land provided by the City of Orange Beach.

“This facility will expand collaborative opportunities with our friends and partners with the City of Orange Beach, the University of South Alabama and other regional institutions and industries as we work together to study, develop and implement infrastructure resiliency, environmental protection, restoration, sustainability and conservation actions that will continue to improve the quality of life and enhance economic advancement in this vital area to our state,” said Steve Taylor, interim dean of Auburn’s Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.

The center will focus on three board areas, college officials said — water quality, habitat protection and enhancing coastal community sustainability and resilience.

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“The effects of natural and man-made disasters on the primary industries in the region have resulted in economic adjustments and dislocations primarily through reductions in tourism and the simultaneous effects on tourism-related industries, damage to public and private infrastructure, negative impacts to agriculture and fishing-related industries, and damage to the natural environment and natural resources,” the university noted.

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