Saturday, June 5, 2010

Fort Pickens and other Coastal Historic Sites Remain Open - June 5, 2010

The National Park Service reports that all Florida areas of Gulf Islands National Seashore are open to visitors this weekend, despite the arrival of the leading edge of the massive BP Oil Spill in the Florida Panhandle.

Tar balls and other pollution from the spill appeared along the Northwest Florida coast in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton Counties yesterday, affecting beaches and coastal waters off Pensacola, Pensacola Beach, Navarre, Fort Walton Beach and Destin.

State and local government workers and a large number of volunteers have been putting in major effort to clean the beaches as fast as the oil comes in and so far more than 100 miles of beaches have been cleaned at least once. The spill so far has not forced the closure of any of the key historic sites along the coast.

According to the National Park Service, the Fort Pickens, Fort Barrancas, Advanced Redoubt and Naval Live Oaks sections of Gulf Islands National Seashore remain open at this time and are expected to remain open through the weekend.  The Florida State Park Service also reports that all state parks in the Panhandle remain open.

I'll keep you updated of any changes affecting parks and historic sites along the coast as soon as I learn of them. You can also read daily updates on the oil spill's impact on Florida by visiting

Follow these links for more information on key historic sites along the Panhandle coast:

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