• Aerial View of Padre Island National Seashore

    Padre Island

    National Seashore Texas

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  • Sobriety checkpoint Saturday, August 23, 2014

    Law Enforcement officers at Padre Island National Seashore will conduct a Sobriety Checkpoint Saturday, August 23, 2014 on Park Road 22 near the park’s entrance. The purpose of the checkpoint is to detect and apprehend alcohol and drug impaired drivers.

  • Fee Free Day at Padre Island National Seashore, August 25th, 2014

    Monday August 25, 2014 is National Park Service Founders Day and Superintendent Mark Spier invites the public to help us celebrate our 98th birthday by coming out and enjoying the day at Padre Island National Seashore. Park entry will be free on that day.

  • Park Phone issues

    The visitor center main phone line and fax line are not working. To reach the park visitor center, call (361) 949-8069 or (361) 949-4793. Fax to (361) 949-7091, Attention: Visitor Center. We apologize for the inconvenience.

  • Bird Island Basin Campground rehabilitation starts August 18, 2014

    The second part of a project to repair facilities and rebuild eroded shoreline at Bird Island Basin Campground begins August 18. Minor disruptions of activities in the immediate area may occur. None of the work should affect use of the boat ramp.

The 9B Regulations

The NPS promulgated specific regulations at 36 CFR Part 9, Subpart B, commonly referred to as the “9B Regulations” to provide a system-wide regulatory framework governing the exercise of nonfederal oil and gas rights. The purposes of the regulations are to “insure that activities undertaken pursuant to [nonfederal oil and gas rights] are conducted in a manner consistent with the purposes for which the National Park System and each unit thereof were created, to prevent or minimize damage to the environment and other resource values, and to insure to the extent feasible that all units of the National Park System are left unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” 36 C.F.R. § 9.30(a). The regulations control conduct associated with private mineral rights on, across, or through federal land so that these activities avoid or minimize harm to park resources and values.

The 9B regulations require that each oil and gas operator develop a Plan of Operation that outlines the specific location, process, protection measures, and other information that will be employed during the oil and gas activity. The NPS evaluates the submitted plan and must determine whether those operations will affect park visitors or resources and if so, how to eliminate, minimize, or mitigate those impacts. This evaluation process includes the development of an environmental document that solicits public involvement as required by the National Environmental Policy Act. By attaining public review and input, the park can help ensure that impacts are addressed, reasonable alternatives are considered, and the park resources and visitor experiences are protected while allowing access to privately held minerals.

Many park resources and values are considered when evaluating a Plan of Operation including sea turtles, vegetation, shorebirds, visitor use, cultural sites, and natural soundscapes to name a few. Padre Island National Seashore staff has extensive knowledge and experience pertaining to the protection of nesting Kemp’s ridleys and routinely works with numerous federal and state agencies to ensure that this valuable resource is protected. Over 80 mitigation measures have been developed to minimize or eliminate the impacts to park resources and visitors, and are required of all oil and gas operators working in the park. Some of these measures include:

  • Limiting the maximum speed limit of oil and gas vehicles to 15 mph throughout the park while park visitors have a maximum speed limit of 25.

  • Limiting the maximum number of trucks that can be in the park each day.

  • Not allowing oil and gas equipment to be operated along the beach at night.

  • Requiring all oil and gas equipment to convoy as a group, which is escorted by an NPS trained turtle observer.

  • Placing a net or other type of cover over any container that can hold a liquid.

  • Establishing a 500 foot buffer around permanent freshwater ponds.

For more information, follow this link to the National Park Service's Geologic Resources Division website.

Did You Know?

The National Park Service arrowhead contains a white buffalo, an animal sacred to many native Americans.

Although Padre Nicolas Balli established the first permanent settlement on the island, the island was previously owned by his father and his grandfather, who obtained the original grant from the Spanish crown. More...