Dauphin Island Sea Lab Foundation


Mailing Address:

PO Box 82151

Mobile, AL  36689


Office Located at 4513 Old Shell Road Suite 2



2021 MEAL Speaker Dr. Neil Hammerschlag


Dr. Neil Hammerschlag is a marine ecologist and Research Associate Professor at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science and Abess Center for Ecosystem Science & Policy. He also serves as Director of the Shark Research & Conservation Program at the University of Miami.

Neil’s research centers on the behavioral ecology of marine top predators under global change. His current research activities focus on determining the biophysical drivers, ecosystem impacts and conservation implications of large shark movements exposed to urbanization, overfishing and climate change. He has projects currently underway in Florida, Bahamas, South Africa, and the Galapagos Islands.



Neil has been publicized widely, including features on Discovery Channel, National Geographic, NBC’s Today Show, CNN, and ABC’s Good Morning America – to name a few. In print and online, his work has been featured in the Washington Post, Miami Herald, LA Times, New York Post, NPR News, Science Daily, and various fishing magazines. He has assisted in the development of several shark specials for BBC, National Geographic Shark Fest, and Discovery Shark Week. His lab has even found an audience in diverse publications like Forbes and Oprah Magazine.

Dr. Hammerschlag in the Field

Congratulations to the Award winners for the 2021 Marine Environmental Awards!


Gulf Coast Marine Environmental Excellence Award -which recognizes an individual who has made outstanding contributions to marine environmental sustainability in the Alabama Gulf Coast Region: Walter Ernest


Ernest is a native of Mobile Alabama and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Auburn University.   Currently he is the Director of Operations for the Pelican Coast Conservancy.  The Pelican Coast Conservancy is a sister organization of the Atlantic Coast Conservancy in Jasper Georgia.  He previously served as Executive Director of Weeks Bay Foundation.  Ernest has been involved in local, state and national grass roots conservation efforts for over 20 years, which includes past president of Mobile County Wildlife and Conservation Association and Baldwin County Trailblazers, served as a director on the Alabama Coastal Foundation, Coastal Conservation Association of Alabama, served as The Friends and Foundation Network sector representative for the 28 National Estuarine Research Reserves on the National Estuarine Research Reserve Association in Washington D.C., and is a Dauphin Island Bird Sanctuary. He was appointed as a member of the State of Alabama Coastal Resource Advisory Committee by Governor Robert Bentley, where he has served as chairman.




Gulf Coast Marine Environmental Leadership Award‐Recognizes an organization whose efforts have resulted in the improvement of marine environmental sustainability in the Alabama Gulf Coast Region: Mobile County Commission


The Mobile County Commission (MCC) has dedicated more than $76 million in funding to protect and restore hundreds of acres of ecologically sensitive habitat, most of which will offer passive recreational opportunities for Mobile County citizens and visitors alike.


In addition, the MCC has committed $8.24 million in RESTORE Act funding for a Mobile County Blueway Trail to provide recreational paddling experiences throughout the county. The project's vision aims to celebrate and protect the county's waterways while sustainably enhancing and increasing access to places to play, relax, and reconnect.


Listed below are some of the tracts acquired by Mobile County for conservation, restoration, and some of the park improvement projects:

    • Salt Aire South Acquisition - Shoreline Restoration
    • Salt Aire North Acquisition
    • Bayfront Park - Shoreline Restoration
    • Dauphin Island Causeway - Shoreline Restoration
    • Escatawpa Hollow Park & Campground Acquisition and Park Improvement Project 
    • Chickasabogue Park Improvements
    • Dauphin Island West End Acquisition & Bird Management Plan
    • Graveline Bay and Little Dauphin Island Acquisition
    • Steiner Tract Acquisition - Lightning Point
    • Three Mile Creek Acquisition