MOBILE/BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WPMI) The Causeway is undergoing some spring cleaning. For years, hotels and businesses sat vacant and rundown, creating quite an eyesore. Now officials are trying to return the area back to its natural beauty.
"When you restore the environment, you restore the economy. When a place is beautiful to come to, you get rid of those eye sores. People come to it," said Executive Director and Baykeeper Casi Callaway.
Eyesores like Woody's Hotel, and the Ramada Inn where Elvis Preseley once stayed have all been torn down.
"Now eight years that it's been sitting there empty, and we are so excited to see that eye sore being removed," said Callaway.
"It was a bitter sweet thing to kind of see it come and go," said Denise Lee, owner of R & R Seafood.
Hurricane Katrina damaged numerous hotels and businesses along the Causeway. Officials are working to restore it to showcase its natural state.
Callaway stated, "Change everything and really make the delta and those bays to the north really healthy and vibrant and full of fish and seafood and wild life."
"You can walk back there and see the alligators and just the natural habitat; the grass that grows helps our shrimp industry. So, it's a beautiful lot," said Lee.
She said if the Causeway gets approved as a scenic byway, cleanup will help draw more tourists.
"I think having new people come to the area is will always help," Lee said. "New businessess come into the area is always great for us."
"Well imagine the Mobile Bay Causeway being a destination for the nation. That's what we want to see, and the only way that's going to happen is if we're really promoting and enhancing it," said Callaway.