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.
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"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.
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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?

Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Coral Reefs

Neon-hued parrotfish. Graceful angelfish the size of dinner platters. Delicate sponges that sway in the currents. Coral communities teeming with colorful marine life. Our fascination with the oceans and their denizens has led Congress to include within the National Park System some of the nation’s most incredible and beautiful marine ecosystems. Ninety-five percent of Biscayne National Park, for instance, is underwater.

The Great Annual Fish Count at Biscayne National Park

Snorkelers on Elkhorn Coral in Biscayne National Park
Do you like to scuba dive or snorkel? Can you count? Maybe you'd like to be part of the Great Annual Fish Count at Biscayne National Park in Florida. It will be held on Saturday, July 25.

National Park Mystery Plant 2: There’s Good Reason They Call This Thing "the Death Apple”

This tree, which can be found growing in a few of our national parks, is one you’ll want to treat with respect. Its various parts are full of toxins that can irritate your skin, temporarily blind you, make you very sick, or even kill you.

Might The Obama Administration be More Invested in Everglades Restoration Than Its Predecessor?

Everglades National Park, Rodney Cammauf photo.
Different administrations in Washington have different sets of priorities. While the Bush administration talked about helping restore the massive Everglades ecosystem, the Obama administration is sending signals it will work harder to push the project forward.
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Junior Ranger Day - and an Essay Contest with a Serious Prize

Kids with ranger at Mesa Verde NP.
A number of NPS areas are offering special activities for Junior Ranger Day on April 25, 2009, and a related Junior Ranger Essay Contest offers a serious prize: a $1,000 Visa gift card.

UPDATED: Authorities Confirm the Deaths of Father and Daughter at Biscayne National Park

The spring boating season is off to a sad start at Biscayne National Park in Florida, where authorities have released additional details about the deaths of a father and daughter last weekend.

Are We Properly Caring for Our Ocean-Based National Parks?

There was an essay recently that brought to my attention a startling figure: Even though there are nearly 1,700 marine protected areas in U.S. territorial waters, 99.9 percent of all our territorial waters were open to fishing in 2008.

Everglades Coaltion's Annual Meeting In Early January

The annual meeting of the Everglades Coalition, which works for the health of the ecosystem that includes Everglades National Park, is set for early next month.