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Gulf island whole 9 years after Katrina - AP

Note: One of my sisters and her family are rugged Katrina Survivors, and this is welcome news to all of us.

A wide beach fills an area that once was open Gulf water at Dauphin Island, Ala., on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014. Hurricane Katrina cut the coastal island in two in 2005, but the gash has closed in recent months and the island again is whole because a rock pile created after the BP oil spill in 2010 captured sand washing along the coast. (AP Photo/Jay Reeves)

DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. (AP) — Nature and a multimillion dollar rock pile built in the Gulf of Mexico after the BP oil spill have healed a large barrier island nine years after it was sliced in two by Hurricane Katrina.


Katrina swamped Alabama's narrow Dauphin Island in 2005, creating a pass that grew from a few dozen feet to about 1.5 miles wide by the time the oil spill occurred in 2010. The cut left more than 7 miles of pristine beach inaccessible by foot on the island's uninhabited western end.

But then BP's Macondo well blew off the coast of Louisiana and spewed oil — and cash — into the Gulf region.

Using about $17 million from BP PLC, the state of Alabama hired contractors to build a line of huge rocks to seal the Dauphin Island cut in 2010 in hope of keeping oil away from the mainland.

Now, sand captured by those same rocks has created a new beach that ranges from a couple hundred yards wide to just a few feet wide. For the first time since August '05, beachgoers can walk the entire length of Dauphin Island, nearly 17 miles. ...more

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