Wright named nature tourism specialist

Chandra Wright

Chandra Wright is a nature tourism specialist for Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant.

Chandra Wright has joined the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism and the Auburn University Marine Extension and Research Center as a nature tourism specialist.

She will provide technical training to improve business management practices and increase profits. She also will conduct training and certification programs, presentations, workshops and face-to-face consultations with people interested in developing or expanding nature tourism operations in such areas as sustainable charter fishing and dolphin and nature tours.

While her office is located in Gulf Shores, Ala., she will be working with nature-tourism businesses on the Alabama and Mississippi coasts.

“We are so happy to have Chandra in this position,” said Colette Boehm, special projects director for Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism. “She’s been involved in many of the nature-based activities along the coast for years, so her experience, along with her professional knowledge base, is an excellent combination. She’ll be a great asset to the nature tourism industry.”

Wright holds a Juris Doctor from The University of Alabama School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Alabama. Before working as a nature tourism specialist, she practiced civil law.

“As a direct result of witnessing the Deepwater Horizon oil spill’s negative effects on the coastal environment, I felt called to channel my time and skills into better stewardship of our natural resources,” she said.

Boehm said Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism’s partnership with Sea Grant offers the opportunity to support nature tourism efforts along the coast and help entrepreneurs meet both their business goals and the tourism market demand. “Of course, those businesses depend on our natural resources, so the focus on offering responsible, sustainable business practices is the basis for the entire program,” she said.

Wright, an avid scuba diver and nature photographer, can be reached at 251-974-4634 or cwright@gulfshores.com.