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(Corpus Christi, Texas)-Superintendent Joe Escoto announced there is a likelihood that large crowds will visit the National Seashore for the July 4th weekend, beginning Friday, July 3 and ending on Sunday, July 5, 2009. Fireworks are never allowed in the park. Park Rangers will enforce the burn ban, as there is a high fire danger due to the drought conditions. Therefore, no campfires, candles, or tiki torches are allowed. Charcoal or propane grills can be used for grilling food, but not to maintain a campfire. Parking and traffic rules and regulations will also be enforced throughout the National Seashore. Visitors traveling to Bird Island Basin Boat Ramp should anticipate the parking lot filling to capacity. Please plan for other boat launching ramp options. Vehicles without trailers are asked to park at the Malaquite Visitor Center. In the event that the Bird Island Basin parking lot becomes full, visitors may utilize the Malaquite Visitor Center as overflow parking. Park staff will update and notify the Entrance Station immediately if the Bird Island Basin boat ramp fills to capacity.
There is a seasonal speed limit of 15 miles per hour, starting at mile marker 5 to Mansfield Channel until July 31, 2009. Beach driving conditions on Gulf Beaches may be poor. Visitors planning to travel on the beach must do so with extreme caution, and are strongly encouraged to do so in a four-wheel drive vehicle in order to avoid getting stuck in the sand.
Additionally, the Park staff is anticipating the potential for sea turtles to nest during the Fourth of July weekend. Visitors should notify a Park Ranger or Turtle Patroller and call 361-949-8173, extension 226 if they detect a nesting sea turtle.