Fort Gaines threatened by coastal erosion

DAUPHIN ISLAND, Alabama -- Dauphin Island's Fort Gaines,

a key site in a Civil War battle that spawned one of the most famous quotes in naval history, was listed Wednesday on the annual roster of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.

Facing serious threats from erosion, the fort could eventually "wash away," warned the Washington-based National Trust for Historic Preservation.

"It's something that's worth saving," Dauphin Island Mayor Jeff Collier said of the fort. "This is a national treasure. It's not just a fort that happens to be on Dauphin Island."

"Fort Gaines, a place of extraordinary national significance, is in a precarious position," National Trust President Stephanie Meeks said in a written statement. "While we cannot stop the tide, we can stabilize the shoreline, serving to protect Fort Gaines and Mobile Bay from ever-increasing coastal storms."

Erosion has already taken 400 feet of the fort's battlefield area, the group said.

State officials hope that Wednesday's recognition could lead to better times for the fort. Of more than 200 endangered sites identified by the National Trust over the past 2 decades, only a handful have been lost.

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Author: George Altman

Article and Image Source: http://blog.al.com

Keywords: Fort Gaines, Erosion, Conservation, Civil War, USA


George Altman

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