• Aerial View of Padre Island National Seashore

    Padre Island

    National Seashore Texas

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  • Park Phone issues

    The visitor center main phone line is out. To reach the park call (361) 949-8069 or (361) 949-4793. The issue has been reported, however the phone company is having difficulty locating the problem. We apologize for the inconvenience.

  • Padre Island National Seashore will Conduct a Sobriety Checkpoint on Saturday, July 19, 2014.

    To protect the public from impaired drivers and help ensure a safe park experience for all visitors, Padre Island National Seashore law enforcement will conduct a Sobriety Checkpoint on Saturday, July 19, 2014 on Park Road 22 near the park’s entrance.

Sea Turtle Protection

Nesting Kemp's ridley sea turtle

Nesting Kemp's ridley sea turtle

NPS Photo

There may be times when eggs, nesting turtles, hatchlings, and stranded turtles could be directly vulnerable to all activities taking place along the beach including both oil and gas and recreational traffic. Visitors are permitted to operate their vehicles along most of the Gulf beachfront at PAIS, with driving occurring from the water’s edge to the dunes. In the areas where beach driving is permitted, sea turtles that nest and hatchlings that emerge from undetected nests cross at least one vehicular roadway and hence could be vulnerable to crushing from vehicles. No nesting sea turtles, hatchlings, or eggs have been documented as struck or killed by vehicles at PAIS.

Currently the NPS removes all sea turtle eggs that are located from the beach and transfers them to the incubation facility at PAIS. Hatching success is usually elevated substantially for eggs that are transferred to this facility rather than left on the beach to hatch. The NPS also protects nesting turtles while they are on the beach and removes stranded turtles for rehabilitation or study.

As a beneficial side effect, trained observers and oil and gas vehicle operators provide additional observations and assist the NPS with its efforts to detect, investigate, monitor, and protect nesting sea turtles, nests, hatchlings, and stranded turtles. To reduce the direct impacts that could occur from crushing or covering of nests or turtles, many mitigation measures have been created and are applied to all oil and gas operators. These measures include:

· Having all drivers of oil and gas equipment attend a sea turtle awareness training class held by the NPS.

· Convoying all large trucks during the sea turtle nesting season.

· Having an NPS patroller conduct a morning patrol before large vehicles can traverse the beach.

· Establishing a “Protected Season” to provide additional protection to Kemp’s ridleys sea turtles, nests, and hatchlings during the peak nesting season.

There has been vehicle traffic, from both visitors and heavy equipment operators, on the Gulf of Mexico shoreline for over fifty years with no documented case of a crushing of a nesting sea turtle within the park.

Did You Know?

NPS arrowhead

Beaches in Texas are considered public highways and therefore all vehicles on them must be street-legal and licensed. More...