The United States’ Federal Government shutdown just after midnight on Friday, leaving many wondering what it means for everyday life. South Florida, like the rest of the nation will have its National Parks, among other things, closed to the public. But the Trump administration said it will “try to allow limited access wherever possible.”
What does “limited access wherever possible” mean? The interpretation is on a per-case basis. All South Florida parks are technically closed, but many may still be accessible.
There will be no park personnel or assistance available. The National Park Service (NPS) advises visitors who choose to enter NPS property, that they are “at the visitor’s sole risk.”
NPS urges boaters on properties with waterways to use extreme caution.
The South Florida NPS properties that are technically closed are:
- Big Cypress National Preserve
- Biscayne National Park – Except The Biscayne National Park Institute, which is open to host boat tours and snorkeling trips.
- Dry Tortugas National Park – Except boat tours and seaplane adventures.
- Everglades National Park – Except businesses that operate inside the park (ie: bike rentals, boat tours)
Services that will remain open:
- Amtrak services and routes
- U.S. Postal Service (operates independent of the Federal Government)
- Social Security
- Medicare and disability
- Benefits for unemployment
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
*New Applications for Social Security Services will be suspended until after the shutdown