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Contact: Charles Lassiter
Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Padre Island National Seashore is increasing recreational access. The National Park Service (NPS) is working servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.
Beginning May 2, 2020, Padre Island National Seashore will end day-use only hours and open access to:
- Overnight beach camping on North Beach and South Beach
- Yarborough Pass 4WD road
- Overnight boat trailer parking at Bird Island Boat Ramp
With public health in mind, the following facilities remain closed at this time:
- Malaquite Visitor Center
- Malaquite Campground
- Bird Island Basin Campground
“Our park rangers have been in close contact with our surrounding local officials, and we believe that visitors to all our Texas beaches can maintain good social distancing while enjoying much needed time outdoors with friends and family. Please remember, this is also sea turtle nesting season, so share the beaches with our Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, and report any sea turtle sightings to a passing turtle patroller or by calling (361) 949-8173, ext. 226,” said Park Superintendent Eric Brunnemann.
The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount. At Padre Island National Seashore, our operational approach will be to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance, and will be regularly monitored. We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.
While these areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased and services may be limited. When recreating, the public should follow local area health, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.
The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19, and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.
Last updated: May 8, 2020