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Dauphin Island is a town in Mobile County, Alabama. It is located on a barrier island of the same name. It is part of the Mobile Metro Area. It has a total area of 166.1 square miles. 6.2 square miles of the area is land and 159.9 square miles (96.27%) is water. To the south of the island is the Gulf of Mexico, to the north is Mobile Bay and the Mississippi Sound. The eastern portion of the island has thick stands of pine trees, wheareas the narrower western side has mainly scrub vegetation.
It is believed that the island had Native American Mound Builder culture, which was approximately 1500 years ago. It was first visited and recorded on maps by Spanish explorers, and served as a major trading depot for Haiti, Mexico, Cuba and France. The local lighthouse is called the Sand Island Light, and the current one is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Fort Gaines, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, The Estuarium public aquarium, the Dauphin Island Airport, boat ramps, a large public pier, all of this are found on this island. It also has a number of historic sites, many restaurants and numerous private homes. It also has a number of bird sanctuaries, the main of which is Audubon Bird Sanctuary. The island usually serves as a resting site for birds migrating from South America.
Tourism and fishing are the major economic activities here. Other activities include retail trade and construction and transport of materials. Public schooling is administered by the Mobile County Public School System, having on elementary school here. Dauphin Island's cost of living is 5.30% lower than the country average.
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