Want to Escape the Cold? Winter is a Great Time to Visit These Desert and Coastal Parks

For some park travelers, winter trips conjure up images of snow-covered landscapes, but for others the season means sun and sand. Here are some suggestions for NPS sites where milder winter weather offers a fine time to enjoy parks that are just too toasty or buggy for most of us during the summer.

Winter, A Season of Contrasts Across the National Park System

This week the Traveler offers you a series of stories to help you enjoy the coming months in the national parks. We'll take a look at some great lodges to call home for your visit, point out some cold-weather -- and warm-weather -- parks to enjoy (and how to enjoy them), touch on seasonal wildlife moves, and even offer some suggestions on how to stay safe in the parks.

The Columbus Day Weekend Party in Biscayne National Park: "Mardi Gras on the Water"

The Columbus Day weekend is about to begin, and that means that thousands of boaters will soon gather at Biscayne National Park for a boisterous party-on-the-water.

At Biscayne National Park, Proposed Boat Anchoring Restrictions Trigger Protests and Send Management Back to the Drawing Board

After Miami area boaters complained that a proposed Mooring Buoy & Marker Plan for Biscayne National Park excessively curtailed boat anchoring practices they rely on, the park decided to redraft the plan.

Eat a Lionfish, Help National Parks, And Win Cash Prizes!

A series of lionfish fishing derbies is scheduled for the coming weeks with hopes the poisonous fish that is invading coastal national parks in Florida and the Virgin Islands can be cut down before it gains a significant foothold and impacts native fishes and corals.

Dangerous Lionfish Invading Waters of Biscayne National Park

Non-native lionfish, a venomous fish that poses problems for marine life and humans, seem to be making inroads into the waters of Biscayne National Park, according to park officials.

Photo Collage of Florida's Coastal Seabirds Reminds Us of What's At Stake With Deepwater Horizon

Passage of time can, on occasion, be an insidious eraser of events. As we near the two-month "anniversary" of the blowout of the Deepwater Horizon oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, are we becoming numbed to its impacts, realized and potential?

As Oil Comes Ashore at Gulf Islands National Seashore, Republican Calls for Renewed Drilling Along Outer Continental Shelf

More oil was coming ashore Friday in parts of Gulf Islands National Seashore, with tar balls several inches in diameter seen near Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island. In Washington, D.C., meanwhile, a top Republican was calling for the Obama administration to lift the moratorium on off-shore drilling.

Oil Coming Ashore at Gulf Islands National Seashore, South Florida Parks Still Oil-Free

A slurry of oil and tar balls roughly 2 miles long and a yard wide from the Deepwater Horizon disaster has been keeping cleanup crews busy at Gulf Islands National Seashore, while other parks in South Florida still have not been impacted.

Monitors Ringing Dry Tortugas, Everglades, and Biscayne National Parks Ready to Detect Deepwater Horizon Impacts

A series of paint-can-sized pails are bobbing in the Straits of Florida where the Gulf of Mexico mingles with the Atlantic Ocean, ready to chronicle what impacts, if any, will descend on Dry Tortugas, Everglades, or Biscayne national parks from the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

National Park Foundation Launches Disaster Recovery Fund Drive For Gulf of Mexico Parks

As millions of gallons of crude oil continue to flow into the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe, the National Park Foundation is mounting a campaign to raise money to help national park units affected by the disaster.

Creature Feature: The Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle Faces an Uncertain Future

The Kemp's ridley may be little as sea turtles go, but it's got big problems. It was already the world's most endangered marine turtle before the mammoth Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico threatened to wreak havoc on its vital habitat.

On Endangered Species Day, Recognizing the Cost of Oil Spills

This coming Friday, May 21, is Endangered Species Day. It is a day to both celebrate the amazing successes achieved for wildlife protection ... and to reflect on the work still left to be done.

National Parks Rimming the Gulf Coast Watching, Waiting, and Preparing For Oil Slick

With ocean currents, winds, and weather the powers behind the movements of the sprawling oil slick created by the Deepwater Horizon disaster, personnel at national parks along the Gulf Coast can only watch, wait, and prepare for the worst.

BioBlitz at Biscayne National Park was a Big Success

Student diver in Biscayne Bay.
A 24-hour BioBlitz last weekend at Biscayne National Park was by all measures a great success. Led by more than 200 scientists from around the country, thousands of amateur explorers, families, and schoolchildren from south Florida conducted an inventory of the plants, insects, fish and other creatures that inhabit one of the nation’s largest marine national parks.

Creating an Urban Gateway to Biscayne National Park on Virginia Key

When National Park Director Jon Jarvis traveled to Miami recently, the closest he could get to the Dante Fascell Visitor Center of Biscayne National Park was Virginia Key, a barrier island off the coast of Miami that overlooks the watery boundaries of Biscayne National Park in Biscayne Bay.

Biscayne National Park Looking For Help With Counting Park's Life

Gauging the diversity of life in Biscayne National Park's boundaries will be the task later this month when the park stages a "BioBlitz" with the help of the National Geographic Society.

Creature Feature: The American Crocodile is Florida’s Comeback Kid

There are crocodiles, including some genuinely huge ones, living in South Florida. Not everyone is happy about it, but these fascinating creatures have made a dramatic comeback from near extinction.

Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes to List Loggerhead Turtle Species As Endangered

Loggerhead sea turtles, one of four turtle species that have come ashore to nest from Cape Hatteras National Seashore south to Gulf Islands National Seashore, are not doing well, population-wise. The species currently is being proposed for listed as "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act.
AttachmentSize
Loggerhead Turtle Proposed Listing.pdf629.87 KB

"Endangered World" Exhibit at Biscayne National Park Includes a Full Moon Event on Sunday

Flags in display at Biscayne NP.
Biscayne National Park is offering a unique way to promote awareness of endangered animals at the park and around the world. A colorful outdoor display and indoor exhibit by Miami artist Xavier Cortada are now open; a full-moon reception and talk by the artist will be held on February 28.

National Park Quiz 78: Harbors

Don’t harbor any illusions; this month’s quiz is no walk in the park. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write on the whiteboard 100 times: "During the 1950s, some scientists suggested that 'instant harbors' could be created with well-placed atomic bombs."

Endangered Species Coalition Lists 10 Species Endangered By Climate Change

A small turtle from the eastern U.S. A species of trout native to Glacier and North Cascades national parks. Grizzly bears. A prairie orchard. A coral. These are among the ten plant, fish, animal, and bird species listed in a new report as being the "hottest" species imperiled by climate change.
AttachmentSize
hottestspecies.pdf1.92 MB

This Internship with NPS Submerged Resources Center Could be a Diver's Dream

Divers
Perhaps the best-kept secrets of our National Park System are found on millions of acres which are located underwater, and most of those areas are yet to be explored. Sound intriguing? If you're a diver, perhaps you'd like to apply for a Scientific Diving Internship. Applications are now being accepted.

Brown Pelican Removed from Endangered Species List

If you've recently visited any of the national parks in Florida, or the national seashores on the Gulf Coast, or even Channel Islands National Park, Cape Lookout National Seashore, or Cape Hatteras National Seashore, you might wonder why all the fuss over the removal of the brown pelican from the Endangered Species List.

Nurseries Play A Key Role In Caretaking Coral Reefs at Biscayne National Park

As Professor Bob pointed out two weeks ago, one of the must-see things at Biscayne National Park are the reefs teeming with rainbow-hued fish, corals, and sponges. While these delicate structures struggle with warming waters, disease, and physical assaults from boaters, divers, and anglers, volunteers at the park are working to preserve them by nurturing coral nurseries.

Traveler's Checklist: Biscayne National Park

If you love tropical isles, coral reefs, and sunshine, you’ll love Biscayne National Park.

Sea Turtle Conservation Work at Biscayne National Park Produces Mixed Bag of Results

Even sea turtles need a hand from time to time. At Biscayne National Park, the work of students and park staff resulted in mixed results from turtles that came ashore in the park to lay eggs this year.

Creature Feature: Invasives At Biscayne National Park Often Come By Sea

It is at the same time both one of the most striking fish you'll encounter as well as one of the most dangerous to appear in the waters of Biscayne National Park.

Proposed Power Lines at Everglades National Park Highlight Several National Issues

What would you think of a utility building a lengthy power-line transmission corridor through Everglades National Park on land that's highly valuable for restoring the "River of Grass"? And what would you think if such a project set a precedent that could jeopardize other National Park System lands across the nation?