Saturday, March 9, 2013

Gulf Islands National Seashore campgrounds could see hefty hike in fees

     The two campgrounds in Gulf Islands National Seashore-Davis Bayou near Ocean Springs, MS and Fort Pickens near Pensacola Beach, FL-could see camping site fees jump 50%, according to a press release from Dan Brown, Gulf Islands National Seashore superintendent.
     The current fee for camping at Fort Pickens, $20, would increase to $30 per night.  At Davis Bayou the current fee of $16 would increase to $26.  The camping fees at both campgrounds include electric and water hookups.  The press release did not say when the proposed higher fees, if approved, would take effect.
     Senior Pass (available to those over 62) and Access Pass holders would continue receive 50% off the campground fees, Brown said.
     Brown said the "proposed new rates would make the camping fees at Gulf Island National Seashore comparable with those of other camping facilities in the area to avoid unfair competition."
     The public is invited to comment on the proposed fee increase.  Comment should be submitted by March 25, 2013 either via email at or regular mail to: Gulf Islands National Seashore, Attn: Fee Program, 1801 Gulf Breeze Pkwy, Gulf Breeze, FL 32563.
     By federal law, 80% of the camping and entrance fees are retained by the National Seashore and can be used to help repair, improve or replace visitor facilities.  Upcoming projects at Gulf Islands National Seashore include replacing the restrooms in the Fort Pickens campground, remodeling the Fort Pickens campground store, redesigning the entrance stations at Fort Pickens and Perdido Key to speed entry and reduce lines and installing solar panels on West Ship Island to provide clean and renewable energy for visitor facilities, Brown said.

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