New Camping Fees
Contact: Dan Brown, 850-934-2604
Gulf Islands National Seashore Announces New Camping Fees
Superintendent Dan Brown announced today that Gulf Islands National Seashore is increasing the camping fees at Fort Pickens campground in Florida from $20 to $26, and at Davis Bayou campground in Mississippi from $16 to $22. The new fees will be implemented at both locations starting Friday, May 17, 2013.Prior reservations made at the old price will be honored.Individuals 62 years of age or older with a Senior pass or those with an Access pass for a disability receive a 50% discount.The National Seashore proposed slightly higher fee increases of $30 at Fort Pickens and $26 at Davis Bayou campgrounds, but these amounts were reduced following public input. Although the majority of public comments supported the proposed increases, some indicated a preference for a smaller incremental increase.
Camping fees at the National Seashore have not changed since 1997.Fee rates are typically reviewed about every 7-8 years to adjust for increasing costs and comparability with other nearby campgrounds.In 2004-2005 the park was dealing with the aftermath of Hurricanes Ivan and Katrina, and the Fort Pickens Road and campground were closed until spring of 2009 preventing the opportunity to consider a smaller incremental increase.Since 1997 salaries have increased by 53% and electrical rates and usage have increased by more than 50%. The new rates will make the camping fees at Gulf Islands National Seashore comparable with state park facilities that are similarly situated and have comparable facilities. The camping fees at both campgrounds include electric and water hookups.
The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act allows the National Seashore to retain 80% of the camping and entrance fees 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 In recent years fee revenues have replaced outdated restrooms in Davis Bayou campground, purchased john boats for marsh tours, and upgraded the park radio system for increased visitor safety and emergency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, and redesigning the entrance stations at Fort Pickens and Perdido Key to speed entry and reduce lines.
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?
Because of the tropical-like conditions, the U. S. Army established the Cat Island War Dog Training Camp in south Mississippi during World War II. A variety of dog breeds were trained to guard, deliver messages, and attack the enemy. Cat Island is part of Gulf Islands National Seashore.