Gulf Islands National Seashore is Modifying Operations to Implement Latest Health Guidance – March 1
Gulf Breeze, Fla. – Gulf Islands National Seashore is announcing modifications to operations to implement the latest guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and local and state authorities to promote social distancing. As of March 19, additional operations within the national seashore will be modified. Where it is possible to adhere to the latest health guidance, the following remain open at this time:
- Park beaches and water areas (water areas represent 82% of the park)
- The Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Naval Live Oaks, Fort Pickens, and Perdido Key areas
- The Fort Pickens Campground – including all associated facilities
- Restrooms at the Fort Pickens Area will be limited to the Langdon Beach and Fort Pickens Plaza
- The Davis Bayou Area facilities near the visitor center including the picnic area, fishing pier, restroom, and hiking trails
- Petit Bois, West Petit Bois, and Horn islands, as well as the NPS-owned portions of Cat Island
The following have been cancelled parkwide:
- All ranger led programs have been cancelled
- Special Use permits for activities with 10 or more people have been cancelled
The following are closed in Florida (updates in bold):
- The Opal Beach Complex
- The Fort Barrancas Area including the forts and visitor center
- The Naval Live Oaks Exhibit Area at park headquarters
- The Fort Pickens Discovery Center and Bookstore
The following are closed in Mississippi (updates in bold):
- Ship Island and associated facilities
- The Davis Bayou Campground, Robert McGhee Road Picnic Area, and boat launch
- Campers need to be out of the campground by noon on March 19
- The William M. Colmer Visitor Center in the Davis Bayou Area
The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners at Gulf Islands National Seashore is our number one priority. The National Park Service (NPS) is working with the federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. We will notify the public when we resume full operations and provide updates on our website and social media channels.
The NPS urges visitors to do their part when visiting a park and to follow CDC guidance to prevent the spread of infectious diseases by maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other groups; washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze; and most importantly, staying home if you feel sick.
For high-risk populations, such as the elderly and people with underlying conditions, we ask that they take extra caution and follow CDC guidance for those at higher risk of serious illness.
Updates about NPS operations will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus. Please check with individual parks for specific details about park operations. All Gulf Islands National Seashore status updates will be posted online at https://www.nps.gov/guis/planyourvisit/tempclosures.htm, www.Facebook.com/GulfIslandsNPS, and www.Twitter.com/GulfIslandsNPS.
About Gulf Islands National Seashore: Created in 1971, the national seashore stretches 160 miles along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida and Mississippi, and includes barrier islands, maritime forests, historic forts, bayous, and marine habitat. Visit us at www.nps.gov/guis, on Facebook www.facebook.com/GulfIslandsNPS, Twitter www.twitter.com/GulfIslandsNPS, Instagram www.Instagram.com/GulfIslandsNPS.
About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 419 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice and Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice.