Gulf Islands National Seashore was established in 1971 to preserve the barrier islands, salt marshes, wildlife, historic structures and archeological sites found along the Gulf of Mexico. It is the largest National Seashore and includes 12 separate units stretching eastward 160 miles from Cat Island, Mississippi to the eastern tip of Santa Rosa Island, Florida. Gulf Islands National Seashore is a park rich in natural and cultural resources.
Sparkling blue waters, magnificent snowy-white beaches and fertile coastal marshes teem with a diverse and abounding wildlife population. Although more than 80 percent of the park is submerged lands, the barrier islands are the outstanding feature. They are called barrier islands because they serve as blockades to ocean waves and violent storms that would otherwise strike the mainland coast with greater force.
On the Florida and Mississippi mainlands there are historic forts and structures built by Spaniards and Americans. In 1829 President John Quincy Adams designated the first federal tree farm to grow and harvest live oak trees to build naval vessels.
For updates or additional details contact the Deputy Superintendent (e-mail us), Gulf Islands National Seashore, 1801 Gulf Breeze Parkway, Gulf Breeze, Florida 32563 or call at 850-934-2604.
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.