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Contact: Brent Everitt, 850-934-2600
Gulf Breeze, Fla. - Gulf Islands National Seashore will reopen Fort Pickens Road at 9:00 am on Saturday, December 2, 2017. The area, facilities, campground, and road were closed on October 6 ahead of Hurricane Nate making landfall on the Gulf Coast. The hurricane caused significant damage to park roads in Florida and dock damage in Mississippi.
Immediately following the storm clearing the area, park crews evaluated park roads finding more than three feet of sand on the roadway and several portions undermined by gulf over washes. Following a formal engineer evaluation, the Federal Highways Administration immediately began the process to repair damaged roadways. Contractors arrived at the seashore on November 6, removing damaged asphalt, repairing sand confinement systems, and finally repaving Highway 399 in the Santa Rosa Area and Fort Pickens Road in the Fort Pickens Area.
The area will resume normal operations from 5:00 am to 6:00 pm. daily; however some beach parking lots will temporarily remain closed due to sand. Ranger programs will resume immediately, the Fort Pickens Area features the historic fort, water recreation, fishing, and camping opportunities.
The Fort Pickens Campground will welcome overnight guests in Loops A, C, & E on a first-come, first served bases through the weekend. Campground reservations will be honored and accepted for the same loops starting December 4, 2017. Reservations can be made on www.recreation.gov. Loops B & D are currently being converted to tent-only sites and will reopen in mid-December.
About Gulf Islands National Seashore: Created in 1971, the national seashore stretches 160 miles along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida and Mississippi, and includes barrier islands, maritime forests, historic forts, bayous, and marine habitat. Visit us at www.nps.gov/GulfIslands, on Facebook www.facebook.com/GulfIslandsNPS, Twitter www.twitter.com/GulfIslandsNPS, and Instagram www.Instagram.com/GulfIslandsNPS.
About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice and Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice.