GULF BREEZE – Gulf Islands National Seashore is announcing modifications to operations to implement the latest guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and local and state authorities to promote social distancing. As of March 18, operations within the national seashore will be modified. Where it is possible to adhere to the latest health guidance, park beaches, islands, hiking trails, fishing piers, campgrounds, and Forts Pickens and Massachusetts remain open at this time.

The following will be canceled parkwide:

• All ranger led programs have been canceled

• Special Use permits for activities with 10 or more people have been canceled

The following will be closed in Florida:

• The Fort Barrancas Area including the forts and visitor center

• The Naval Live Oaks Exhibit Area at park headquarters

• The Fort Pickens Discovery Center and Bookstore

• The restrooms in Clusters A & E at Opal Beach

Concession Operations:

• Pensacola Bay Cruises & Ship Island Excursions have announced they will operate at 50% capacity to allow for recommended six feet between passenger groups, and have implemented increased cleaning procedures.

We will notify the public when we resume full operations and provide updates on our website and social media channels.

The NPS urges visitors to do their part when visiting a park and to follow CDC guidance to prevent the spread of infectious diseases by maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other groups; washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze; and most importantly, staying home if you feel sick.

For high-risk populations, such as the elderly and people with underlying conditions, we ask that they take extra caution and follow CDC guidance for those at higher risk of serious illness.

Updates about NPS operations will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus. Please check with individual parks for specific details about park operations. All Gulf Islands National Seashore status updates will be posted online at https://www.nps.gov/guis/planyourvisit/tempclosures.htm, www.Facebook.com/GulfIslandsNPS, and www.Twitter.com/GulfIslandsNPS.