Park Closes Temporarily After Hurricane Ida Uncovered Unexploded Cannonballs at Civil War Site

Posted on September 29, 2021 by Staff reports

Photo of Cannon atop Ft. Pickens by Romi White

Gulf Islands National Seashore has closed and erected signage on the southeastern end of the Perdido Key Area for the protection of cultural resources and to ensure the safety of visitors due to unexploded ammunition uncovered during Hurricane Ida. 

Following Hurricane Ida, military munitions were discovered near the far end of seashore’s Perdido Key Area. This event has resulted in a temporary closure of the area, with an abundance of caution should there be additional undiscovered munitions still buried. 

The area where the munitions were found is closed and marked with signs. Visitors walking or boating in this area are prohibited from entering.  Staff will be monitoring and patrolling the area regularly. 

“The park continues to monitor the area for newly discovered munitions and will secure the site(s) should any be found in the future,” said Darrell Echols, GUIS Superintendent. “Our goal is to ensure that the area is safe for the visitors and staff, and that cultural resources are protected.” 

More than 190 cannonballs were detonated in September within park boundaries with help from other federal agencies. No more unexploded ordnances have been identified. Munitions found within national park boundaries are considered cultural artifacts and are protected by law. It is illegal for the public to harm, deface, damage, or remove these items. 

Gulf Islands is working closely with the National Park Service, Southeast Archaeology Center, and Florida State agencies to conduct the cultural survey of a large area on the eastern end of Perdido Key.  


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