ANREP Gulf Coast Ecology Post-Tour (Preregistration) by University of Florida IFAS Extension
Full cost of tour will be $350. $110 (refundable) deposit holds your spot and establishes interest in post-tour.
Day One (May 3): After the ANREP conference ends (lunchtime), tourgoers will leave Mississippi and head to Mobile, Alabama. There, they will explore the Mobile River Delta via a 2-hour interpretive tour via motor boat, learning the history of the delta along with the fauna and flora of the middle Delta’s cypress swamps. The large drainage area of the Mobile Bay system makes this area one of the most commercially productive seafood areas along the Gulf Coast. Shrimping is a major economic venture with processing occurring in nearby Bayou La Batre, made famous by Forest Gump. At dinner, participants will be joined by a panel of local experts to discuss the area’s maritime and seafood history.
Day Two (May 4): The tour will explore Alabama’s coastal ecosystems and historic resources by visiting two civil-war era forts (Ft. Morgan and Ft. Gaines) and Dauphin Island, the largest barrier island along the Alabama coast. Travel between the two forts will be provided by local ferry. There are classic dune fields and associated biota along the southern shore and the northern shore is covered with salt marshes and oyster reefs. In the 1980’s Alabama began drilling for natural gas in the bay, which has provided a significant economic boost to the area. While at the public beach on Dauphin Island we will visit dune fields, observe the dynamics of barrier islands, and the impacts of hurricanes. Along the north shore, visitors will visit Dauphin Island Sea Lab’s Estuarium and will learn more about the ecosystems and organisms of the island, the bay, and the Gulf of Mexico. Once back on the east side of the bay, we will continue along the coast to discuss the impacts of the tourism industry and varying management and development efforts between the Alabama and Florida coasts. We end the night at Perdido Key, Florida.
Day Three (May 5): Perdido Key, Florida is the westernmost beach in Florida. It is home to Johnson’s Beach, part of Gulf Islands National Seashore, which starts on the Mississippi coast and stretches to Florida. Participants will learn about impacts to Gulf beaches from erosion, sea level rise and hurricanes, along with management techniques for five species of endangered sea turtles. Perdido Key is near NAS Pensacola, home of the Blue Angels flight demonstration team and many important military training facilities. At noon, participants will have the option to return to Biloxi for a flight out or continue their stay in Pensacola.
Date and Time
Thu, May 3, 2018, 1:00 PM –Sat, May 5, 2018, 6:00 AM CDT
Biloxi, MS, Mobile, AL and Pensacola, FL
Refunds up to 30 days before event