Safety

IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, DIAL 911

Park rangers are available during normal working hours to provide assistance.

If you have a medical emergency during your visit, contact a park ranger immediately or go to the Malaquite Visitor Center.

The closest hospital is Bay Area-Corpus Christi Medical Center, located at the corner of South Padre Drive and Rodd Field Road in Corpus Christi (7101 S. Padre Island Dr., Corpus Christi, TX 78412). This facility is located 24 miles from the visitor center.

Fishing- Bait Launchers

According to 36 Code of Federal Regulations, compressed gas-powered bail launchers are considered weapons. Federal regulations limit the use of weapons in the National Seashore. The use of a weapon within the Seashore is prohibited unless the time and location of its use is specifically designated. Pending such designation by the park Superintendent, the use of these devices is prohibited.

The use of a weapon to aide in casting due to a disability is prohibited. People frequently surf fish at the National Seashore without distance casting; many use short rods and fish between the first and second sandbar and/or the second and third sandbar. There are also local options that negate the need to distance cast at Bob Hall Pier at Padre Balli Park, Packery Channel (North and South Jetties), and many places along the Laguna Madre.

There are several organizations that have information for fisherman with disabilities:

Disabled Sports USA -http://www.disabledsportsusa.org/fishing
Adaptive Outdoorsmen -http://www.adaptiveoutdoorsman.com/handicapfishing.html
Fishing Has No Boundaries, Inc. -http://www.fhnbinc.org/

Driving

Beaches are Texas public highways.

If you are driving, be aware that pedestrians have the right-of-way at all times and do not always watch for approaching vehicles. If you are a pedestrian on the beach, please watch for oncoming traffic and be aware of where your children are at all times.

Drive with caution and strictly observe posted speed limits.

Firearms

As of February 22, 2010, a new federal law allows people who can legally possess firearms under applicable federal, state, and local laws, to legally possess firearms in this park. It is the responsibility of visitors to understand and comply with all applicable state, local, and federal firearms laws before entering this park.

Boating

Jet skis, air boats and kite surfing are prohibited.

For the safety of all visitors, boaters launching from Bird Island Basin must avoid the NO BOATS buoy line west of the boat ramp near the windsurfing area.

Alcoholic Beverages

Alcoholic beverages may be consumed at the park; however, open containers are not allowed in moving vehicles. Be safe. If you drink, don’t drive. Visitors found to be driving under the influence are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Swimming

Use caution when swimming and never swim alone. Strong currents flowing parallel to the beach, tides flowing to and from the beach and sudden drop-offs in the surf can be dangerous for swimmers and waders alike.

If caught in a rip current, do not panic. Swim parallel to the beach until you are free from the flow, then swim to shore. Do not attempt to swim to shore against the flow! Even the strongest swimmers will be quickly exhausted and are at extreme risk of drowning.

Come Prepared

No ice, food, firewood, or fishing licenses are sold in the park, and the park does not have a gas station. The nearest amenities from the park entrance station are about 12 miles away, so please come prepared. The park also does not have a post office or sell stamps, and cannot mail items for visitors. Please call our Beach Conditions and Weather Forecast Hotline for more information on beach driving conditions and weather alerts at Padre Island National Seashore: (361) 949-8175.

Fireworks

Fireworks are prohibited.

Wildlife

Jellyfish: Jellyfish and jellyfish-like organisms are found on the beach throughout the year. Some jellyfish can give a painful sting if contacted, and the sting is usually accompanied by redness and some swelling of the affected skin area. If stung, seek first aid at the Malaquite Visitor Center.

Rattlesnakes: Two species of rattlesnakes live in the dunes, grasslands and mudflats. Visitors should avoid walking in these areas.

Stingrays: Stingrays have a barb that they use to defend themselves. If stepped on, a stingray can inflict a painful wound with its barb. To avoid this, shuffle your feet while walking in the water. Seek medical attention immediately if you are struck by a stingray barb.

Hazardous Materials

A variety of hazardous materials periodically wash ashore. If you come upon hazardous materials, note the location and alert a park ranger.

Mosquitoes

Because a large part of the island is marsh there can be incredible numbers of mosquitoes at times. However, the normal offshore wind is strong enough to keep most flying insects off the beaches. This is one reason we encourage people not to go into the grasslands or off the beach. It can be extremely uncomfortable. If you plan on walking the Grasslands Nature Trail during the summer, be certain to apply plenty of insect repellant.

The Zika virus is a viral disease transmitted to people by infected mosquitoes (Aedes species, a non-native species introduced by humans). Being in a warm climate which can support year-round mosquito populations, Padre Island National Seashore is considered to be a potentially at-risk area for Zika virus. To learn more about Zika Virus, please click here.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 181300
Corpus Christi, TX 78480

Phone:

(361) 949-8068
This is the primary phone number for the Malaquite Visitor Center at Padre Island National Seashore.

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