The City of Gulf Shores has begun work to establish a new Gulf Coast Center for Ecotourism and Sustainability, which will be adjacent to Gulf State Park and be constructed using $9.7 million in RESTORE funding from BP.

Plans are for work to begin on the project in 2020, with completion scheduled for 2021.
One of the center’s goals will be to develop educational programs utilizing the State Park Learning Campus facility adjacent to Gulf Shores Middle School as well as sites throughout the park, including the pier, the Interpretive Center, the Nature Center, Lake Shelby, the beach and the Hugh Branyon Back Country Trail System.

Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft said the center would be similar to the NASA Space Camp in Huntsville, but instead with a focus on learning about the environment and how to better care for it.

“The program will bring students, teachers, tourists, business groups and academic groups from around the country to participate in activities that support ecotourism and sustainability, and promote the stewardship of our natural resources,” said city leaders.

The mission statement for the Center for Ecotourism and Sustainability is to promote sustainable tourism, raise environmental awareness, and encourage the stewardship of natural resources in order to increase community resilience, strengthen the regional economy, and enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors in the Gulf Coast region.

There are numerous ways to incorporate an ecotourism learning experience into your Gulf Shores vacation. Bring the kids and their friends to the beach to stay in a Fort Morgan house and discover nature’s bounty.