Local national parks closed due to government shutdown

Canaveral National Seashore, Merritt Island National Refuge closed

By Justin Warmoth - Anchor

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - All day long people were walking up to the Canaveral National Seashore gate hoping to enjoy a nice day at one of Brevard County's national parks, but when they saw the gate locked up, they weren't too happy.

"It was going to be a nice outing for me today, but unfortunately, Congress and the Legislature hasn't done their job and I'm real upset about that," said park visitor Larry Lane.

Lane and his wife decided to make a trip to the Canaveral National Seashore and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Tuesday afternoon, hoping to enjoy a day of exploring what the two Brevard County national parks had to offer.

They never expected what they would find when the got there.

Lane said, "We live 40 miles away and came up here and everything seems to be closed."

Since the House and Senate did not agree on a bill to fund the United States government, the two national parks were forced to shut it doors.

Most of the roads, trails, boat ramps and beaches are closed, and several of the 40 part-time and full-time federal employees were told not to show up to work.

"This is going to have a major impact on the whole economy in Merritt Island, Titusville, and where we live in Melbourne," said Lane. "A lot of workers are not going to be getting their paychecks."

That's why Kennedy Space Center Federal Credit Union says they are offering interest free loans for up to 12 months to its government employed members.

Of the 40 employees that work at the refuge and seashore, only five management and law enforcement workers were on duty Tuesday.

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