Seashore to increase fees

Starting June 14, Gulf Islands National Seashore will increase entrance fees in order to fund maintenance and improvement projects that directly serve and benefit visitors within the park.  Eighty percent of fees collected stay in the park, according to a release from the Seashore.

An annual pass will increase from $25 to $30; fees per vehicle will increase from $8 to $15; motorcycle fees will increase from $3 to $10; and per person fees will increase from $3 to $7.

“This increase in fees will allow us to continue to protect, preserve and share the special places here at Gulf Islands for current and future generations,” Superintendent Dan Brown said. “After carefully considering the impact of a fee increase on visitors and community members, we came to the conclusion that this is the right course of action to improve facilities and services important to visitors.”

Entrance fees have supported a wide range of projects that improve the park and visitor experiences, including replacing outdated restroom facilities, upgrading the park’s emergency radio communications system, and conducting essential research to restore the park’s historic structures, the release stated.  Additional revenue from this fee increase will restore the Fort Pickens historic mine loading and storeroom buildings and develop exhibits, replace outdated picnic pavilions, provide solar recharging facilities for electric shuttles for ferry passengers, and restore Observation Tower 234 at Fort Pickens for public access.

Those 16 and younger, or holders of the America the Beautiful National Parks & Federal Recreational Lands annual Pass, and Interagency Senior, Access, Military, or Volunteer passes, do not pay an entrance fee.

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