When we think of America’s National Parks, we often don’t think of the oceans or the Gulf of Mexico, but along our shores are some of the most incredible places our country has to offer. Seven barrier islands along the southern coast protect the mainland, nature, and mankind as they form a damper against ocean storms. They’re teaming with life – scurrying ghost crab, majestic osprey, and loggerhead sea turtles, facing their 1 in 1000 survival odds. But humans have made their mark on these places, too, and history is a big part of any visit to these islands on the Gulf shore. One particular historic site, on the end of Florida’s Santa Rosa Island, played its part in our nation’s great internal struggle. On this episode of America’s National Parks, the Guardian of the Gulf, Fort Pickens; part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore.

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Music for this week’s episode is provided through the generosity of the artists under a creative commons license.