Days Gone By - stories from the past

Shelby County, and other central Alabama counties were once beachfront property. Do you think it will happen again?

From geologic research, we know that the state was once covered by ancient oceans, swamps, and other near-shore environments and the sediment left behind of limestone, sandstone, shale, and chalk are also economically important to Alabama.

Do you think it could happen again? And if so, how soon do you think it will happen?

State is divided into five sections

Physio-graphically, the state is divided into five sections: the Cumberland Plateau, Highland Rim, Valley and Ridge, Piedmont Upland, and East Gulf Coastal Plain. Each of these is characterized by rocks of specific geologic age and composition, and the resultant land forms reflect these rock types.

Dauphin Island, Alabama was once in the ocean

dauphin island

Recent research indicates that the Wetumpka asteroid hit which hit in Alabama 83 million years ago would have landed in a shallow sea, that covered most of southern Alabama from around Shelby county in central Alabama.

Global Warming is a controversial topic today, but more and more people are beginning to accept that something is changing on our planet Earth. “Missions flown from the NASA base here have documented some of the most dramatic evidence of a warming planet over the past 20 years: the melting of polar ice, a force contributing to a global rise in ocean levels.”

This is creating problems for many communities along the ocean’s shoreline. “The Wallops Flight Facility is a billion-dollar space launch complex that occupies a barrier island and it is slowly drowning under the impact of worsening storms and flooding. Even though $43 million has been spent to fortify the shoreline with sand, nearly a third has since been washed away” Wallops Island has been losing an average of 12 feet of shoreline a year.

Ocean is rising

It is estimated that the beach of the island town of historic Chincoteague gateway is disappearing at an average rate of 10 to 22 feet a year. The access road and parking lot have been rebuilt five times in the past decade. In 2010, the wildlife refuge proposed to close the beach and shuttle tourists by bus to a safer sandy shoreline.

All along the Atlantic shoreline, the ocean’s rise is a troubling everyday reality.

“Even the nation’s capital isn’t immune. The Potomac River turns into a tidal estuary just north of Washington as it flows toward Chesapeake Bay to the south. The average number of days a year above flood threshold has risen to 25 since 2001, up from five before 1971.”

“In 2010, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began a $4.1 million project to close gaps in the line of flood protection for Constitution Avenue and the Federal Triangle area – home of the departments of Justice and Commerce, the National Archives and the Internal Revenue Service. The corps expects to finish in late autumn a 380-foot-long, 9-foot-tall barrier across 17th Street near the Washington Monument.”

“The oceans have risen about eight inches on average over the past century worldwide. The rise is two to three times greater in spots along the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean because of subsidence, a process whereby natural geological movements and extraction of underground stores of water, oil and gas cause the ground to sink.” (Bloomberg Businessweek)

from Bloomberg Businessweek

alabama climate change

“When Kevin Harrison warns Alabama lawmakers about rising seawater that government scientists project will swamp the state’s bridges, ports, and highways in coming decades, he’s careful to avoid the words “climate change.” There are “naysayers about that particular topic,” says Harrison, transportation director of the South Alabama Regional Planning Commission. Instead he points to weather models showing an increase in the frequency of hurricanes and floods but sidesteps the touchy subject of what causes them.”


  1. Reuters
  2. Bloomberg Businessweek
  3. Encyclopedia of Alabama

Shelby County Alabama Pioneers Volume I

ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS: Settlement: Lost & Forgotten Stories

Alabama Footprints: Settlement is a collection of lost and forgotten stories of the first surveyors, traders, and early settlements of what would become the future state of Alabama.

Read about:

  • A Russian princess settling in early Alabama
  • How the early setters traveled to Alabama and the risks they took
  • A ruse that saved immigrants lives while traveling through Native American Territory
  • Alliances formed with the Native Americans
  • How an independent republic, separate from the United States was almost formed in Alabama

ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS – Settlement:: Lost & Forgotten Stories (Volume 2) (Kindle Edition)

By (author):  Causey, Donna R

List Price: $7.97
New From: $7.97 In Stock
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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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  1. I know they is a coral reef that runs between Macon and Russell counties lots of sea shells and occasionally a sharks tooth

  2. Sure, but not in my lifetime

  3. since we are in a global cooling time now, I must say it will be a thousand or so years before the planet gets that warm, if ever

  4. So true, there are Ancient Cypress Tree Stumps in the Gulf 125+ ft deep.

  5. Anything is possible. Not in this lifetime.


  7. […] Shelby County, and other central Alabama counties were once beachfront property. Do you think it wil… […]

  8. […] Shelby County, and other central Alabama counties were once beachfront property. Do you think it wil… […]

  9. […] Shelby County, and other central Alabama counties were once beachfront property. Do you think it wil… […]

  10. Most people have a poor understanding of great passages of time. All of Alabama was under the ocean from 600 million years ago. Marine fossils can be found from the Cambrian to the Mississippian- except for Devonian, when the water was too deep to support Sun supported life. From the Pennsylvanian era on, all North Alabama was above sea level. If you drive past the intersection of hwy 280 and I-459 look at the exposed rock in the hillside- that was the beach at one time. Wetumpka is the only place on the planet in which a meteor crashed into the shallow sea and now is on land. South Alabama has many fossil whale vertebrae and the state fossil is a whale. Montgomery is the only area where you can find dinosaur bone fossils- because that was the beach at the time they lived. Extreme south Alabama has only been above sea level for a few million years. With the rise of the Appalachians most of the state now will not sink again. But if sea levels rise- all of the low elevation flat land could again fall beneath the waves.

  11. Earth was created a few thousand years ago. Not even no where near a single million. One day everyone will know that

  12. Climate change has always happened and always will happen. What cannot be agreed upon is whether or not human activity has any effect on climate change.

  13. Melanie Stickler Falconer

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