Gulf Shores in Alabama is often referred to as the ‘redneck riviera.’ But now its otherwise carefree residents and visitors are worried about the recent oil spill. They’re hoping it won’t mean the end of their ‘beautiful’ shoreline.
Gulf Shores is one of three seaside resorts in the state of Alabama (Orange Beach and Dauphin Island being the other two). Most of the city is therefore devoted to beachfront hotels, condominiums, vacation houses and a tourism/real estate based economy. Gulf Shores (like Orange Beach and Dauphin Island) has a large beach, fronting the Gulf of Mexico between New Orleans, Louisiana and Florida. The adjacent resort city of Orange Beach offers direct access to the Gulf of Mexico for vessels, via Perdido Pass. The greater area is home to a large charter fishing fleet. Gulf Shores is served by Jack Edwards Airport, which is located on the north side of town.
The Alabama Gulf Coast beach is known for its bright, “sugar white” quartz sand. Although quite abrasive to CDs, sunglasses etc., it is powdery, soft and comfortable to the feet. The Gulf of Mexico waters along the beachfront tend to have an emerald green tint due to the close proximity of the Mobile Bay estuary to the west, where the Mobile river meets the Gulf of Mexico. The prevailing west to east current along the beach brings suspended silt from the Mobile river delta toward the Florida panhandle, giving the water a green tint.