Gulf Islands National Seashore Proposes New Camping Fees
Contact: Dan Brown, 850-934-2604
Superintendent Dan Brown announced today that Gulf Islands National Seashore is proposing an increase to the camping fees at Fort Pickens campground in Florida from $20 to $30, and at Davis Bayou campground in Ocean Springs, Mississippi from $16 to $26.Senior Pass and Access Pass holders receive a 50% discount.The camping fees at both campgrounds include electric and water hookups.Camping fees at the National Seashore have not changed since 1997.Over the past 16 years, rates at private and state park campgrounds have risen to keep pace with increasing costs.The proposed new rates would make the camping fees at Gulf Islands National Seashore comparable with those of other camping facilities in the area to avoid unfair competition.
Fees authorized by the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, such as camping or entrance fees, cannot be used to supplement operating budgets or hire staff.80% of these fees are retained by the National Seashore, however, and can be used to help repair, improve, or replace visitor facilities.In recent years fee revenues have replaced outdated restrooms in Davis Bayou campground, purchased john boats for marsh tours, and upgraded the park radio system for increased visitor safety and emergency response.Upcoming projects include replacing the restrooms in the Fort Pickens campground, remodeling the Fort Pickens campground store, redesigning the entrance stations at Fort Pickens and Perdido Key to speed entry and reduce lines, and installing solar panels on West Ship Island to provide clean and renewable energy for visitor facilities.
The public is invited to comment on the proposed fee increase.Comments should be submitted by March 25, 2013 either via email at e-mail us or regular mail to:
Gulf Islands National Seashore
Attn: Fee Program
1801 Gulf Breeze Pkwy
Gulf Breeze, FL 32563
For additional information, contact park headquarters at (850) 934-2600 in Florida or (228) 230-4100 in Mississippi, or visit the National Seashore website at www.nps.gov/guis.
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.