For your safety, please observe all rules and regulations, know your limits, and understand the hazards listed below.
Dangerous Sea Life
Sharks are present in the Gulf of Mexico. Do not swim at dawn, dusk or night when sharks are active or feeding. Do not swim in murky waters.
Use caution to avoid jellyfish and stingrays. If stung by a jellyfish apply vinegar and meat tenderizer. Do not touch irritated skin or wash with fresh water. Shuffle feet lightly while wading to scare stingrays away.
Glass bottles and Containers
To protect barefoot walkers and swimmers, glass bottles and containers are not allowed on the beaches.
Use insect repellent in warmer months or stay inside at dusk or dawn when mosquitoes are most active. Gnats and mosquitoes are plentiful. Beware of ants inside Fort Pickens and biting fire ants throughout the national seashore.
Poison ivy grows throughout the national seashore in the wooded area. Remember: Leaves of three, let them be, leaves of five, stay alive. Prickly pear cactus has spines that can cause skin irritation. Watch out for plants with spines or spurs.
Do not swim in hazardous surf. Please watch your children in and near the water at all times. Lifeguards are on duty at designated beaches Memorial Day through Labor Day. For more information see the Seashore's swimming page. See WebRangers on Rip Currents
Sunshine can be very intense throughout the national seashore. Use a sun block with a high SPF of 30. Some visitors may want to wear longed-sleeved light protective clothing. Wear shoes to protect your feet from the hot sand. Drink plenty of liquids. Alcoholic drinks cause dehydration.
Visiting Historic Forts
Climbing is unsafe and can damage the historic fabric of the forts. Please keep off mounds and the cannon at the forts. Many surfaces are uneven and some areas of the forts are slippery and damp especially in the rain. Beware that some of the stairways have no handrails. There are areas that are dark and dangerous. Remain out of closed areas, do not cross barriers.
The national seashore has many different kinds of wildlife. Please maintain a safe distance from all wildlife. Several animals may become entangled in fishing lines. Please dispose of fishing gear including lines properly.