Gulf Islands increasing access to areas in Florida

Gulf Islands National Seashore is increasing recreational access in three of its areas in Florida. The decision was made following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local public health authorities.

Starting Saturday (May 2), the national seashore is reopening access to The Okaloosa Area and Naval Live Oaks Area. On Wednesday (May 6), the Santa Rosa Area, including Highway 399, will open. The Opal Beach Complex remains closed.  No restrooms will be open in the Okaloosa Area or at Naval Live Oaks.

Fort Pickens, Fort Barrancas, Perdido Key and Davis Bayou will remain closed in Florida. Petit Bois, West Petit Bois, Horn and Ship Islands are still closed. Also, the portion of Cat Island controlled by the National Park Service will also remain closed.

“The Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and Naval Live Oaks areas are almost exclusively used by the surrounding Florida counties which cleared the phase one gating criteria on May 1,” Gulf Islands Superintendent Dan Brown said. “The other areas of the national seashore draw visitors from areas that have not yet met the required gating criteria based on the White House’s guidance. In evaluating some park areas, the National Park Service assessed communities within an eight-hour drive, as is consistent with visitation information.”

Gulf Islands continues to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health. A return to full operations will continue to be phased and services will be limited.

For more information and updates on park operations, visit

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