Gulf Islands National Seashore bans drones

Gulf Islands National Seashore is banning unmanned aircraft including drones, model airplanes and quad copters until the Park Service can evaluate the impact of the unmanned aircraft on the parks, their wildlife and visitors.

Superintendent Dan Brown said the Seashore is amending its regulations to prohibit the launching, landing or operation of unmanned aircraft from or on the lands and waters within the Gulf Islands National Seashore. He said this comes after unmanned aircrafts began appearing in national parks.

"We have already observed unmanned aircraft over some of the beaches and historic sites within  Gulf Islands," said Brown. "We know that shorebirds are very sensitive to low-flying objects,  apparently interpreting them as predators." Brown added, "That causes them to flush and leave their nests,  which leaves eggs and chicks exposed and at risk to the hot summer sun."

National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis made the order that all park superintendents across the country implement this interim measure.

"We appreciate the public's understanding as we evaluate this new type of activity," said Brown. The evaluation period could take 18 months or more.

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