GULF BREEZE, Fla. (WKRG) — Gulf Islands National Seashore will temporarily close the Fort Pickens Fishing Pier on Thursday, Aug. 20, to facilitate underwater sea turtle research. The study, conducted by the University of West Florida, will evaluate interactions between young adult sea turtles and in-water piers. The fishing pier will close at 9 p.m. on Aug. 19 and will reopen by noon Aug. 20.
Sea turtles are an endangered species and can often become hooked or entangled on fishing line, causing injury or even death. The work will provide insight into the causes and drivers for sea turtle occurrences around piers, to help managers better understand these interactions. In addition, the researchers will be collecting data on invasive species occurrence. This information will help the park maintain a healthy environment for native fish species in the area.
Rangers will be on duty at the fishing pier during the closure, which extends out 25 yards from the pier. Once the work has been completed, the fishing pier will be immediately reopened. For more information on the Fort Pickens Area, click here.
Created in 1971, the Gulf Island 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. For more information, go to www.nps.gov/guis, or find them on social media at www.Facebook.com/GulfIslandsNPS, www.Twitter.com/GulfIslandsNPS, and www.Instagram.com/GulfIslandsNPS.
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