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Contact: Dan Brown, 850-934-2600Gulf Breeze, FL - Gulf Islands National Seashore have temporarily suspended hike-in/drive-in primitive camping at the Perdido Key Area. The suspension is effective immediately. During the closure, the park will explore management alternatives to address significant resource impacts.
Over the past several years, a significant increase in resource damage by irresponsible campers has seriously endangered the natural resources in the Perdido Key Area. This damage has primarily been caused by campers who violate or ignore federal laws and park regulations managing the primitive camping area. The park has also received numerous complaints regarding public nudity and indecent or lewd behavior in the camping area.
“Unfortunately, the irresponsible actions of a some park users has negatively affected the visitor experience at the Perdido Key camping area and has placed a heavy burden on the natural resources there,” said Superintendent Dan Brown. “It is our responsibility as the stewards of this land to prevent further damage, and develop a plan to improve the visitor experience.” During the closure, the park will work with backcountry camping experts throughout the National Park Service and the country to develop a management plan for the area.
There will be a public comment period for the plan before it is finalized. More information regarding how to comment will be distributed with the draft plan. It is the park’s intention to complete and implement this management plan as soon as possible.
Front country camping throughout the park’s developed campgrounds is not impacted by this suspension in Perdido Key. Additionally, primitive camping is still available on the park’s Mississippi Islands including Petit Bois, West Petit Bois (Sand), Horn, and East Ship Islands, as well as the National Park Service owned portion of Cat Island. Campers should visit www.nps.gov/guis/planyourvisit/primitive-camping.htm for information and regulations.
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/GulfIslands_NPS, 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.