Gulf Shores preparing to accept $12.4 million in RESTORE funding—details here

Gulf Shores
Beautiful OBA! (OBA / Facebook)

Another project in the works in Gulf Shores! The City will soon get a RESTORE Act payday totaling around $12.4 million for phase two construction of the Gulf Coast Center for Ecotourism & Sustainability. Keep reading to learn what this means for Gulf Shores.

RESTORE Act

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Restoring our coast. (Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council)

The Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act (RESTORE Act) dedicates funds to the Gulf Region for ecological and economic recovery efforts.

Phase one of the current project in Gulf Shores was the design phase of a new Gulf Coast Center for Ecotourism & Sustainability. The city used $1 million in RESTORE money throughout phase one.

According to city documents, Gulf Shores was recently awarded the funding for the construction of the facility that will support ecotourism and environmental education as part of the initial Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council Multi-year Implementation Plan.

New facility

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Rendering of new Gulf Coast Center (OBA)

According to their website, the Gulf Coast Center for Ecotourism & Sustainability is a world-class ecotourism and experiential learning facility that will be constructed on City property using RESTORE funds, an allocation of penalties related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that is reserved for restoring and protecting the natural resources of the Gulf Coast.

“The new Eco Center facility will house a range of programs for students from school districts within the region, as well as summer and weekend programs that benefit the local economy and encourage responsible tourism.”

Gulf Shores City documents

The facility will include a great hall and dining area, educational classrooms and outdoor learning spaces, organic gardens and greenhouses, learning laboratories, housing for instructors, ropes courses and team-building areas, accessible trails and pathways, and administrative offices. 

The city is partnering with the Alabama-based firms, Architecture Works out of Birmingham and Watershed out of Fairhope, in efforts to design and incorporate the latest technology into the project.

Tag us @thebamabuzz on Instagram and Facebook to let us know what you think about the new project!

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Callie Puryear
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