Partial Closure on Horn Island
Small portion of Horn Island, Mississippi, closed to entry due to discovery of asbestos and possible other bio hazards. Click on more for map and press release. More »
Shorebirds Nesting Near Roads - 20 mph
Shorebirds are nesting near roads and cross the road regularly. Observe posted speed limits and be alert for tiny birds on the roads. Last year 155 birds were killed on park roads, help us reduce the mortality rate of these beautiful birds and go slow.
Gulf Islands is a park steeped in a long history of settlement, conflict, and abandonment. When Europeans first visited the northern Gulf of Mexico in the early 1500s, they found Native American settlements that were populous and thriving.
Along the Gulf of Mexico, discovery by Europeans was followed by a long struggle for the region's control. Spain, in 1559, established a settlement in Florida on Pensacola Bay, but the place was abandoned soon afterward. Spaniards revived the settlement in 1698, surrendered it to the French in 1719, regained it by treaty in 1722, ceded it to the English in 1763, and repossessed it by force in 1781!
Gulf Islands National Seashore contains one of the most complete collections of publicly accessible structures relating to the evolution of seacoast defense in the United States. It represents a continuum of development from Spanish exploration and colonization through World War II.
Did You Know?
Of the seven species of sea turtles, four species nest at Gulf Islands National Seashore. Sea turtle hatchlings instinctively head for areas of brighter light. Artificial lighting causes thousands of hatchling deaths each year.