Surprise Package Returns Beach Sand to Gulf Shores

Surprise Package Returns Beach Sand to Gulf Shores

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GULF SHORES, Alabama -

A box, from the state of Washington, landed on the desk of the chamber of commerce in Gulf Shores. Inside, a handwritten note from Tammy Hall.

"Dear Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce,

My family had the opportunity and joy of living in your fine state from 1992-1996. During that time we made a weekend visit to Gulf Shores and marveled at the pristine white sand on your beaches," the note began. During that trip Hall and her family took some beach sand home as a souvenir.

"Please accept my sincere apology," the note continued. "I understand now how devastated the beaches become when the sand is taken by excited tourists."

Also inside that box the sand she took almost 20 years ago. Sand that stayed with her family as they moved across the country. "It has lived in Alabama, Michigan and Washington state. It is now time for it to be placed back where it belongs on the beach of Gulf Shores."

This stuff is what makes Alabama beaches and why the city of Gulf Shores is so serious about what happens to it.

"It is a criminal offense to take sand from our beaches," says Mayor Robert Craft. "I did not know that," says Hall.

So impressed by Hall's gesture, Mayor Craft called her, not to scold but to make an offer. "We would like for you and your family to come back and be our guests. We have places for you to stay and help us put this sand back on the beach in the appropriate spot approximately and if you do that I will issue a full and final pardon on this criminal offense."

For Hall a very unexpected ending. "I was very impressed but also embarrassed that I had broken the law. I didn't realized that I did at the time but very pleased that he pardoned me."

For now the sand will stay at city hall and await Tammy Hall's return to take it back where it belongs.

Removing sand or vegetation from Alabama beaches is against the law. You can face fines of up to 500 dollars and jail time if convicted.

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