Big Lagoon State Park, 295 ha;
Big Sabine Point, 43 ha;
Gulf Islands National Seashore, 10,035 ha + 2364 ha of land;

Located in southern Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa counties, representing most of the barrier islands and offshore waters between Johnson Beach (on Perdido Key) to the eastern end of Santa Rosa Island just west of Destin. Much of eastern Santa Rosa Island is part of Eglin Air Force Base, but the National Seashore includes the inshore and offshore waters surrounding the island. The 1378-acre (557-hectare) Naval Live Oaks Area immediately east of Gulf Breeze, and the 1041-acre (420-hectare) Perdido Key Area, are also parts of the National Seashore. Big Lagoon State Park is located on the mainland southwest of Pensacola. It includes frontage along the northern shoreline of Big lagoon. Big Sabine Point is located on the north side of Santa Rosa Island immediately west of one portion of the National Seashore.

Gulf Islands National Seashore is composed of two separate sections of coastline, one in Mississippi and the other in western Florida (the anticipated link between these two sites never materialized when the state of Alabama refused to participate in the creation of the park). At 98,000 acres (39,660 hectares) overall, it is the largest National Seashore in the United States, but about 80% is composed of submerged lands. The Florida section protects barrier island beaches and historic coastal fortifications. The Florida portions of the National Seashore receive 5.1 million recreationists annually, while the State Park receives 168,000 recreationists. No information other than avian data were provided for Big Lagoon State Park or Big Sabine Point.

Gulf Island National Seashore protects 26.2 miles (41.9 km) of Gulf shoreline and 27.7 miles (44.3 km) of bay shoreline. It also includes historic fortifications of Fort Pickens.

Ornithological Summary

Gulf Islands National Seashore contains an extremely high diversity of species, the result of its size, location, and diversity of habitats. It supports one of Florida?s largest remaining breeding populations of Snowy Plovers. Coastal hammocks support numbers of Neotropical migrants during migration. Overall diversity for this IBA, limited to the bird list for Gulf Islands National Seashore (including the portion in Mississippi), is 310 native species.

Conservation Issues

Caution signs have been placed along County Road 399 to reduce mortality of nesting shorebirds and larids by vehicles on Santa Rosa island. ? Exotic animals (feral cats and coyotes) are controlled as needed


U.S. National Park Service (Gulf Islands National Seashore), Florida Department of Environmental Protection (Big Lagoon State Park), and private owners (Big Sabine Point)


Big Lagoon State Park: *coastal strand, *sand pine scrub, tidal marshes. Gulf Islands National Seashore: *coastal strand, *tidal marsh, estuarine, temperate hammock, sawgrass marsh, artificial

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