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Contact: Brent Everitt, 850-934-2612
Ocean Springs, Miss. – Mississippi barrier islands managed by Gulf Islands National Seashore will remain closed following initial assessments completed today. These initial evaluations revealed moderate to significant damage at West Ship and Horn Islands. Additional inspections will need to be completed on the other islands before they can be reopened to the public.
A structural engineering team from the National Park Service will arrive in the area tomorrow, and begin formal assessments of the Davis Bayou fishing pier, government dock, boardwalks and overlooks, as well as the infrastructure (buildings, piers, and boardwalks) at West Ship and Horn Islands on Friday. Once completed, these assessments will provide the national seashore with a clear picture of the full extent of the damage and a plan for repairing or replacing structures as necessary.
The public is reminded that all Mississippi islands, managed by the National Park Service, (Cat, East Ship, West Ship, Horn, West Petit Bois, and Petit Bois Islands) are closed to all public access and use until the assessments and any necessary repairs are completed.
A full list of closures and impacts can be found at www.nps.gov/guis/learn/news.htm. Park status updates will be posted online at www.nps.gov/GulfIslands, www.Facebook.com/GulfIslandsNPS, and www.Twitter.com/GulfIslandsNPS.
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/guis, on Facebook www.facebook.com/GulfIslandsNPS, Twitter www.twitter.com/GulfIslandsNPS, 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.