Gulf Islands National Seashore

Shutdown taking toll on national parks

Shutdown taking toll on national parks

The barricade at the entrance to Gulf Islands National Seashore says it all. On a beautiful sun-splashed, 70-degree January afternoon, when visitors would normally be out enjoying all that Gulf Islands National Seashore has to offer, there is silence instead, save for the sound of a bird chirping or the waves washing on shore. Read […]

Bear sightings more likely than ever in Florida

Bear sightings more likely than ever in Florida

Bear sightings have become more common, and it isn’t just people thinking they are seeing bears visible to the public more than ever before. The odds are as good as they have ever been in the last 100 years. “As both the human and bear populations continue to increase in Florida, there are more opportunities […]

Outdoors group stresses the importance of leaving no trace

Outdoors group stresses the importance of leaving no trace

It’s a phrase that is repeated often. Take only photographs. Leave only footprints. The Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers did their best to drive that point home at an event at Fort Pickens along Gulf Islands National Seashore earlier this month. Read the full article in the Nov. 29 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe […]

Leave No Trace event coming to Fort Pickens

Leave No Trace event coming to Fort Pickens

The Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers and Ocean Hour are hosting a special day of learning at Gulf Islands National Seashore on Saturday. The event is scheduled from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Fort Pickens Discovery Center. Read the full article in the Nov. 15 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view […]

Concessioner jumping ship on ferry service

Concessioner jumping ship on ferry service

Gulf Coast Maritime Services announced Tuesday it will no longer serve as the concessioner for the Pensacola Bay Cruises after 2018. Gulf Islands National Seashore stated in a release it’s disappointed by the decision and is committed to finding a concessioner to operate the service in 2019. Delayed by more than a year, ferry service […]

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 […]

As sand slips away, county prepares for future beach restoration

As sand slips away, county prepares for future beach restoration

From the moment that the last grain of sand was piped from the last dredge onto Navarre Beach during the 2016 renourishment project, the shore has been shrinking. But County Engineer Roger Blaylock said there is no reason to worry. This is all just part of the process. Read the full article in the Aug. […]

Man drowns near Opal Beach

Man drowns near Opal Beach

An approximately 30 year old man died while swimming near Opal Beach Sunday evening. The call came in at around 5:20 p.m. Sunday evening. According to a release issued by Navarre Beach Fire and Rescue Department Chief Danny Fureigh, his department responded to the first parking lot on the eastern end of Gulf Islands National […]

Nest numbers down, beach items may be to blame

Nest numbers down, beach items may be to blame

Since sea turtle nesting season began May 1, Navarre Beach has only seen three turtle nests, a far cry from the nearly record-breaking 19 nests that were found last year. The nesting number is also lower than the average for the past decade. Read the full article in the Aug. 2 issue of Navarre Press. Click […]

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 […]

Mystery muck appears in Santa Rosa Sound

Mystery muck appears in Santa Rosa Sound

  Walking in his backyard, Navarre resident Duane Gilmore was greeted by an unusual odor and a frightening sight April 26. His home abuts Santa Rosa Sound, and he said looking out over the water that day he could see black, shiny muck floating in the water for several feet in each direction. Read the […]

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 […]

A sign of possible progress on beach home

A sign of possible progress on beach home

Amid threats of foreclosure and years of complaints from neighbors, a dilapidated brick home on Gulf Boulevard may finally be renovated. A sign for Gulf Breeze-based company Sailwinds Construction has been placed in front of the structure at 7315 Gulf Blvd. Read the full article in the April 19 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe […]

Controlled burns play crucial role in health of environment, prevention of wildfires

Controlled burns play crucial role in health of environment, prevention of wildfires

Heat brushes across your face as the bright orange flames swiftly move through the brush in a wooded area at Naval Live Oaks. This is not a wildfire out of control, but instead is a controlled burn that is instrumental in management of wildland areas. It serves as an agent of change to those areas. […]

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. […]

Youth Corps gets the ax for this summer

Youth Corps gets the ax for this summer

A popular summer job program is on the chopping block. Money set aside for the Youth Conservation Corps won’t be available in the Southeast region this year, the government choosing instead to use that money to make repairs at national parks damaged by hurricanes that rolled through last year. Read the full article in the […]

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 […]

Government shutdown forces Gulf Islands to temporarily close

Government shutdown forces Gulf Islands to temporarily close

As cars streamed down Fort Pickens Road late Saturday morning, they were greeted by a couple of park rangers who politely told them enjoying Gulf Islands National Seashore wasn’t an option on this mild January day. With the United States Government in shutdown mode, Gulf Islands wasn’t open for business either. It’s the first closure […]

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 […]

Cold snap stuns beach wildlife

Cold snap stuns beach wildlife

Despite the sun beaming down from a nearly cloudless sky, sheets of ice still were still lingering around the edges of tidal pools along Santa Rosa Sound at midmorning last Friday. Standing at the water’s edge, Jeff Waldorf looks like something out of a science fiction film. He slowly turns his head back and forth, […]

Fort Pickens area back in business

Fort Pickens area back in business

Hurricane Nate closed the Fort Pickens area for more than a month. It reopened Nov. 30, and it didn’t take long for visitors to return and activities to resume as normal. “The second the gate went up, we had visitors in Fort Pickens,” said Brent Everitt, who handles public affairs for Gulf Islands National Seashore. […]

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 […]

Duck hunting popular on national seashore

Duck hunting popular on national seashore

Duck hunting is a thing on Gulf Islands National Seashore. The numbers tell you as much. While hunting ducks has been allowed since the national seashore was established more than 40 years ago, the issuance of permits for it didn’t start until 2013. Over the last three seasons, more than 200 permits have been issued […]

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 […]

Dream of research center languishes

Dream of research center languishes

The planned 26,000-square-foot teaching lab at Gulf Islands National Seashore, announced with great fanfare in 2014, has stalled. “I don’t say it’s dead. It’s still out there,” National Seashore Superintendent Dan Brown said in a recent interview. The envisioned Research and Education Center was to be a joint endeavor of the National Park Service and […]

Gulf Islands National Seashore closing all areas ahead of storm

Gulf Islands National Seashore closing all areas ahead of storm

Due to the threat of a Tropical Storm Nate becoming a hurricane this weekend, Gulf Islands National Seashore will close all areas of the park, including Fort Pickens and all of the Mississippi Islands. The national seashore areas will close tonight. All campers at Fort Pickens and the Davis Bayou Campgrounds must evacuate by noon […]

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