Gulf Islands National Seashore Bracing for Tropical Storm Claudette

With Tropical Storm Claudette scheduled to come ashore very early Monday morning, Gulf Islands National Seashore officials took pre-emptive steps by closing some areas of the seashore to the public on Sunday.

Ana through Wanda, This Year’s Hurricane Names are Ready to Go

NOAA forecasters expect a normal- to low-activity hurricane season this year, but you never know for sure. There are 21 storm names pre-selected for use in 2009.

Gulf Islands’ Popular Fort Pickens Area is Auto-Accessible Again

Hordes of day-trippers are once again converging on the Fort Pickens area of Gulf Islands National Seashore near Pensacola. Though still recovering from severe storm damage, this popular sun-sea-sand destination is very much back in business.

Two Boating Incidents in Coastal Parks Have Very Different Outcomes: 7 safe, 4 rescued, 1 missing

Coast Guard helicopter.
Two groups of boaters encountered problems recently at separate coastal parks, but the situations had vastly different outcomes. Seven teenagers in North Carolina fared immensely better than a group of adults in Mississippi. Four members of the latter group spent the night in the water and 1 is still missing.

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.

Gulf Coast National Parks Prepare for Possible Arrival of Hurricane Gustav

As Tropical Storm Gustav nears the Gulf of Mexico, three Gulf Coast national parks in the projected landfall zone of the soon-to-be hurricane have moved to a higher level of hurricane preparedness and are making preparations for possible closure and evacuation. Five other national parks within the five-day forecast cone are in planning and monitoring mode.

Park History: The U.S. Life-Saving Service

Fierce winter storms and shifting shoals gave birth to the "Graveyard of the Atlantic," where thousands of ships have foundered since record-keeping began in the 16th century. Beginning late in the 18th century, rescuers began patrolling the East Coast in search of such wrecks.

National Park Service Sued Over Personal Watercraft at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Gulf Islands National Seashore

In an action sure to inflame some national park visitors, Friends of the Earth and The Wilderness Society have sued the National Park Service to reinstate bans against personal watercraft at Gulf Islands National Seashore and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
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Conservation Groups Urge National Park Service to Reinstate Jet Ski Bans

A trio of conservation groups is asking the National Park Service to reinstate bans against personal watercraft in Gulf Islands and Cape Lookout national seashores as well as Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. If the agency balks, the groups say they'll take it to court over the matter.
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Park History: How the National Seashores Came to Be

For years, summer trips to Cape Cod were an annual ritual for my family. My parents had retired to the Cape, and our boys loved romping in the surf and building castles in the sand. Lobster feasts, game-fishing, and whale watching were added benefits, as were exploring the seashore’s lighthouses, roaming its dunes, and looking for sea creatures in its mudflats.