Dan Brown

Concessioner selected for Pensacola Bay Ferry Service

Concessioner selected for Pensacola Bay Ferry Service

The National Park Service and Hornblower Maritime Services (HMS) have signed a 10-year concessions contract for operation of Pensacola Bay Cruises. A startup date, schedule, prices and other details will be announced as soon as they are available. Read the full article in the March 14 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription […]

Gulf Islands seashore working to revise Jet Ski regulations

Gulf Islands seashore working to revise Jet Ski regulations

Back in 2000, the National Park Service limited personal watercraft use in all but 22 parks, including Gulf Islands National Seashore. That exception meant those parks had to come up with their own special regulations for continued use of jet skis. Read the full article in the Aug. 30 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe […]

Ferry service set to begin this week

Ferry service set to begin this week

The long wait is almost over. Ferry Service in Pensacola Bay is scheduled to begin Friday after the National Park Service and Gulf Coast Maritime Services Inc. signed a contract for the operation of Pensacola Bay Cruises. “We’re excited to start working with Gulf Coast Maritime Services Inc. and begin the Pensacola Bay Cruises service,” […]

Ferry service set to begin next week

Ferry service set to begin next week

The wait is almost over. Ferry Service in Pensacola Bay begins June 22 after the National Park Service and Gulf Coast Maritime Services, Inc. signed a contract for the operation of Pensacola Bay Cruises. “We’re excited to start working with Gulf Coast Maritime Services, Inc. and begin the Pensacola Bay Cruises service,” Gulf Islands National […]

Gulf Islands’ first sea turtle nest spotted

Gulf Islands’ first sea turtle nest spotted

Biologists at Gulf Islands National Seashore discovered the first sea turtle nest of the season Wednesday morning at Gulf Islands National Seashore. It has been identified as a loggerhead sea turtle. Sea turtle nesting season occurs between May 1 and October 31 each year along gulf coast beaches. In honor of the start of turtle […]

Docked once again

Docked once again

Pelican Perch and Turtle Runner, the two boats that will be used to anchor Gulf Island National Seashore’s ferry service in Pensacola Bay, are unwrapped and out of dry dock. But the boats won’t be leaving the dock just yet. Read the full article in the May 17 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to […]

National seashore employs new sea turtle protocol

National seashore employs new sea turtle protocol

New protocol will be followed this season when it comes to sea turtles at Gulf Islands National Seashore. The seashore is modifying its handling of the turtles to conform to the protocol followed by the state, in which less labor-intensive and less intrusive efforts are used when dealing with nests. “Our practices have not aligned […]

Shorebird season underway at Gulf Islands

Shorebird season underway at Gulf Islands

The first shorebird nest was discovered at Gulf Islands National Seashore late last week, meaning shorebird season is officially back. The seashore provides a nesting habit for several species of ground nesting shorebirds, including least terns, snowy plovers, Wilson’s plovers and black skimmers. Read the full article in the Mar. 15 issue of Navarre Press. […]

Ferry service close to its starting point

Ferry service close to its starting point

Large piles of dirt rest where a future dock facility will one day sit in downtown Pensacola. The two ferry boats, Pelican Perch and Turtle Runner, are still wrapped and dry docked. Gulf Islands National Seashore will soon have its ferry service in Pensacola Bay in operation, and it will be the culmination of what […]

Gulf Islands National Seashore in USA Today’s 10 Best

Gulf Islands National Seashore in USA Today’s 10 Best

USA Today has named Gulf Islands National Seashore the 10Best Readers’ Choice 2018 Best Florida Attraction. This top spot was determined by a period of public voting on destinations nominated by an expert panel. The top 10 were published to 10Best.com, where Gulf Islands took the top spot over contenders including Disney World and the […]

Visiting Gulf Islands will cost a little more in 2018

Visiting Gulf Islands will cost a little more in 2018

Two years after its first price increase in more than a decade, the entrance fee for vehicles into Fort Pickens will increase by $5 starting in January. The rise in price is a result of the nationwide entrance fee structure that was established three years ago by the National Park Service. The rate for vehicles […]

Dune damage on Navarre Beach costly

Dune damage on Navarre Beach costly

  Staying off the sand dunes along Navarre Beach is more than good environmental policy, it is a legal requirement. Since 2007 Santa Rosa County has had an ordinance on the books to stop people from setting foot on these natural formations, and for good reason. Sand dunes are a naturally occurring and crucial part […]

Fort Pickens Road to remain closed until December

Fort Pickens Road to remain closed until December

The structural engineering assessments of Fort Pickens Road through the Fort Pickens Are and Highway 399 through the Santa Rosa are finished and neither is expected to reopen until at least December. All reservations at the campground in Fort Pickens have been canceled through Dec. 3. That could be extended if more time to repair […]

Large-scale project clearing way for cleaner national seashore

Large-scale project clearing way for cleaner national seashore

It’s hard to find a silver lining in something as disastrous as an oil spill. Gulf Islands National Seashore Ecologist Kelly Irick will tell you she has found one in the fact that BP money is funding a nearly $11 million Beach Enhancement and Asphalt Removal Project in the Santa Rosa area of the national […]

Future of Fort Pickens Road at mercy of Mother Nature

Future of Fort Pickens Road at mercy of Mother Nature

Gulf Islands National Seashore Superintendent Dan Brown watched the track of Hurricane Irma closely. He does it every time there is a major storm because he knows it could signal the end for Fort Pickens Road. “The roads we manage are subject to damage, if not complete destruction,” Brown said. “We’ve seen it happen again […]

Brown shares thoughts on lengthy NPS career

Brown shares thoughts on lengthy NPS career

Gulf Islands National Seashore Superintendent Dan Brown likes to tell people he joined the National Park Service when he was 6 years old. He was with his family on a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park and as they traveled by car up a road in the mountains, his mother noticed beautiful rocks along the […]

Volunteers are key in Gulf Islands cleanup

Volunteers are key in Gulf Islands cleanup

Gulf Islands National Seashore offers visitors opportunities to see wildlife and enjoy water activities such as swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and fishing. Keeping the seashore looking great isn’t easy, however, and the efforts to do so go on throughout the year. “It’s a never-ending job,” Gulf Islands National Seashore Superintendent Dan Brown said. “We’ll do a […]

Ferry service aims to provide more than transit

Ferry service aims to provide more than transit

West Ship Island in Mississippi was used as a model when plans went into motion to bring a ferry service to Pensacola to transport people to and from Fort Pickens and Pensacola Beach. “We relied an awful lot on the history and knowledge of their successful ferry service in designing the service here,” said Dan […]

Boats that will be used for ferry service arrive in Pensacola

Boats that will be used for ferry service arrive in Pensacola

As the two ferry boats made their way into the bay late Saturday afternoon, the excitement began to build. Gulf Islands National Seashore Superintendent Dan Brown has been waiting a long time for the boats to arrive. And while the ferry service from Pensacola to Fort Pickens and Pensacola Beach won’t begin until next spring, […]

County backs Gaetz’s new beach ownership push

County backs Gaetz’s new beach ownership push

The decades-long quest of Navarre Beach residents to gain true ownership of their property—fee simple titles instead of the current county leases—is gaining momentum among Washington lawmakers and Santa Rosa commissioners. But getting there probably means separating the beach ownership rights from the current crusade to reopen Navarre Pass, a waterway to connect Santa Rosa […]

Pass interest renewed

Pass interest renewed

In July 1965, a man-made waterway was opened that connected the Santa Rosa Sound to the Gulf of Mexico across a span of Navarre Beach 450 yards east of Navarre Bridge, near the boundary line with Eglin Air Force Base. Read the full article in the March 16 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at navarrepress.com […]

Back country camping on hold for now

Back country camping on hold for now

Bags full of trash piled up high. Tents abandoned in the sand. Beer cans and soda cups litter the beach. All of it paints a not so perfect picture of the irresponsibility of those who take part in back country camping at Perdido Key. Read the full article in the Feb. 23 issue of Navarre […]

Leaseholders weigh fee simple title over Navarre pass

Leaseholders weigh fee simple title over Navarre pass

Twice now a bill to allow Navarre Beach leaseholders to claim fee simple titles for their leased properties has made its way to the U.S. House of Representatives. Read the full article in the Feb. 16 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at navarrepress.com for as little as $38 per year.

Start of ferry service docked again

Start of ferry service docked again

Bids for the operator of the ferry service planned for Pensacola Bay were in short supply and construction bids for the docks were limited as well, leading Gulf Islands National Seashore to hold off on starting up its service as planned in 2017. Delayed once already – a decision was made in October to start […]

Fort Pickens Area Closed Ahead of Intense Weather

Fort Pickens Area Closed Ahead of Intense Weather

Gulf Islands National Seashore announced today the closure of Fort Pickens Area in Florida, in anticipation of intense wind and surf that will cause sand and water to cover the road. The forecasted wind and surf are anticipated to cause Fort Pickens road to become impassable.  The Fort Pickens Area is closed at noon today, Monday, November 28, 2016,to all incoming public use due […]

Ferry service delayed until late spring

Ferry service delayed until late spring

Gulf Islands National Seashore Superintendent Dan Brown joked on Monday morning that people have wanted a ferry service in Pensacola Bay for 50 years. Their wait will be over soon. It’s just going to extend a couple of months longer than expected. Slated to begin in March of 2017, service to Pensacola, Pensacola Beach and […]

Pilot and student make emergency landing near Navarre Beach

Pilot and student make emergency landing near Navarre Beach

At approximately 10 a.m. on Oct. 30, a Cessna 172N registered to Hum’n Byrds, Inc. made an emergency landing just west of Navarre Beach in Escambia County. According to Gulf Islands National Seashore Superintendent Dan Brown, the call came in at 10:10 a.m. that a small Cessna had made an emergency landing near parking lot #1, […]

Nonsense at the National Seashore

Nonsense at the National Seashore

Dan Brown is superintendent of Gulf Islands National Seashore. In a way he’s the “big boss” of the pristine stretch of barrier islands which skirt the Mississippi and northwest Florida coasts. He’s also head honcho of historic local park areas, such as Fort Pickens, Fort Barrancas and the Naval Live Oaks Reserve. Apparently, all the […]

Grant to link students and turtles

Grant to link students and turtles

A grant award for Gulf Islands National Seashore (GINS) will fund an innovative educational opportunity, so that local teens can better understand a special group of seasonal guests on area beaches, sea turtles. The grant from the National Parks Foundation will fund Gulf Islands’ “Turtle T.H.I.S. (Teens Helping in the Seashore) Program.” “We are excited to […]