The University of South Alabama Foundation has presented a quarter mile of Dauphin Island waterfront to the University for study and research opportunities. The property, held by the Foundation for some 35 years, is valued at $1.92 million.
With a combination of beach, marsh and submerged land on the island’s Aloe Bay, “It’s a perfect living laboratory,” said USA Foundation Managing Director Maxey J. Roberts. “The Foundation board believes that this will assist and advance the research for, specifically, the Stokes School of Marine and Environmental Sciences, but also programs in the College of Engineering as engineering looks at coastline restoration and protection.”
University President Jo Bonner added, “It’s going to have an immediate impact on our ability to teach our students. It’s really a gift that ties into the mission of the University, with our role in serving the community in doing research and in teaching.”
Dr. Sean Powers, director of the marine and environmental science school, said, “We’re really appreciative of the USA Foundation having the vision to pass this land on to the University. Our plan for this piece of property after the restoration is to hold as much of it as possible in a preserve. It will really be the island’s first preserve right on the water’s edge.”
Restoration plans include a town project to dredge the Aloe Bay channel and create additional beach at the property while the university works to restore natural salt marsh and add oyster reefs.