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A New Vision for Gulf Coast Tourism

At the heart of Eagle Cottages is our commitment to a great getaway that goes hand in hand with learning about and protecting nature. From our scenic perch on the shore of Lake Shelby in Alabama's Gulf State Park, Eagle Cottages guests have access to 6,150 acres of protected habitat, including nine distinct ecosystems ranging from coastal pine forests to sun-splashed beaches and sand dunes that are home to an array of unique flora and fauna.

We hold a firm belief that it is our responsibility to both celebrate and protect the bountiful biodiversity found here, so that future generations may continue to enjoy this special region that pre-eminent naturalist and Alabama native, E. O Wilson, called “America’s Amazon.”  As such, we are deeply dedicated to the principles and practices of sustainable tourism, based upon the three key pillars of:

  • Environmentally-friendly operations and facilities
  • Support for the protection of cultural and natural heritage
  •  Social and economic benefits to local people

Each of these pillars is part of the mission of Eagle Cottages. In addition to engaging in an array of important conservation efforts, such as the Share the Beach endangered sea turtle monitoring program, and eliminating all single-use plastic water bottles and plastic straws on property and during guest excursions, we are constantly striving to become a model for sustainability by using:

  • Biodegradable materials and recycling all paper, aluminum, and glass;
  • Furniture made from recycled and repurposed materials;
  • Energy efficient LED lighting;
  • Environmentally-friendly cleaning products;
  • BeeKind natural bathroom amenities, which donates a portion of its proceeds to native bee pollination research;
  • Complimentary guest bicycles and a bike share program to reduce carbon emissions.
Photo Courtesy of Michael Thomas

 

 

 


Photo Courtesy of Michael Thomas

In addition, we proudly support other conservation efforts, among them:

  • On-going natural dune restoration and removal of invasive species;
  • Maintaining 28 miles of hiking and bicycle trails with educational signage to learn about local ecology and ecosystem restoration;
  • Operating a natural history Learning Campus and Interpretive Center based upon sustainable building design and construction; 
  • Promoting volunteer opportunities, such as the Annual Coastal Cleanup.

 

We also believe that conservation success is directly connected to supporting our local communities: 

  • 98% of our staff are from the local area;
  • As much as possible, our food supplies come from local farmers and fishermen, based upon sustainable sourcing;
  • Local artists’ work is on display in all the cottages;
  • Our gift shop features local items, including pecans, honey, and bath products that only use natural ingredients;
  • We collaborate with Alabama colleges to provide internship opportunities for students interested in careers in hospitality and sustainable tourism.


At the core of our mission is a belief in the importance of public-private partnerships and affiliations to advance conservation. Our partners include:

  • Alabama Coastal Foundation
  • Gulf Coast Center for Ecotourism and Sustainability
  • Alabama Gulf Coast Reef and Restoration Foundation
  • Little Lagoon Preservation Society
  • Friends of the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge
  • Birmingham Audubon Coastal Bird Stewardship Program
  • Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics
  • University of Alabama Office of Archaeological Research