National Park Service Changes Entrance Fees to Address Infrastructure Needs
Gulf Breeze, Fla. – The National Park Service (NPS) has announced that in response to public comments on a fee proposal released in October 2017 proposing summer-season entrance fees of $80 for 17 highly-visited national parks, there will instead be a modest increase for all parks that charge entrance fees. The additional funds will be used for infrastructure and maintenance needs to enhance the visitor experience.
Effective January 1, 2020, the entrance fees to Gulf Islands National Seashore will be modified to align with standardized rates being implemented nationwide for similar national park areas. A 7-day pass to the park will be $25 per vehicle, $15 per person (pedestrian or cyclist), and $20 per motorcycle. An annual park pass will cost $45. An entrance pass provides seven consecutive days of access to all fee areas in the national seashore including Fort Pickens, Johnson Beach, Opal Beach, Fort Barrancas, and Okaloosa Area. The park annual pass provides 12-months of access to all areas from the date of purchase.
Free annual passes are available for active duty military and for 4th grade students under the “Every Kid Outdoors” program. Access Passes are free lifetime passes for individuals with a permanent disability. The annual Senior Pass remains $20. The price of the annual America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass and Lifetime Senior Pass remain $80.
Revenue from entrance fees remain with the NPS and helps ensure a quality experience for all who visit. At Gulf Islands, 76.5 percent of entrance fees are retained by the park and are devoted to maintaining facilities that directly serve visitors. The remaining entrance fee revenues assists other national parks with their projects.
Several upcoming projects at the national seashore are funded through fee collections including: replacement of walkways and paths at Fort Barrancas, masonry repairs to Fort Pickens, restoration of the historic Mine Loading Building, stabilization and repair of historic Battery 234 Observation Tower, and replacing the picnic pavilion and restrooms at Battery Worth. Previously completed projects using entrance fees have included installing new restrooms and hot showers in all loops of the Fort Pickens Campground, and the restoration of the historic Mine Storeroom.
Learn more about how fee dollars are at work at the park by visiting: https://www.nps.gov/guis/planyourvisit/yourfeesatwork.htm
National parks have experienced record breaking visitation, with more than 1.5 billion visitors in the last five years. Throughout the country, the combination of an aging infrastructure and increased visitation has put a strain on park roads, bridges, campgrounds, waterlines, bathrooms, and other visitor facilities and led to a $11.6 billion deferred maintenance backlog nationwide.
Entrance fees collected by the National Park Service totaled $199.9 million in Fiscal Year 2016. The NPS estimates that once fully implemented, the new fee structure will increase annual entrance fee revenue by about $60 million.
Gulf Islands National Seashore has had an entrance fee since 1971. The park is one of 112 National Park Service sites that charges an entrance fee; the other 300 national parks will remain free to enter.
There will be no change to camping fees as part of this change. The complete entrance fee schedule for Gulf Islands will change according to the following:
|Gulf Islands National Seashore|
|Per Vehicle||Per Person||Per Motorcycle||Park Specific Annual Pass|
|Jan 1, 2020||$25||$15||$20||$45|
About Gulf Islands National Seashore: Created in 1971, the national seashore stretches 160 miles along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida and Mississippi, and includes barrier islands, maritime forests, historic forts, bayous, and marine habitat. Visit us at www.nps.gov/GulfIslands, on Facebook www.facebook.com/GulfIslandsNPS, Twitter www.twitter.com/GulfIslandsNPS, and Instagram www.instagram.com/GulfIslandsNPS.
About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 419 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice and Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice.
Gulf Islands National Seashore
1801 Gulf Breeze Parkway
Gulf Breeze, FL 32563