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Okeechobee Waterway to remain OPEN During Government Shutdown

Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds and recreation areas along Okeechobee Waterway to remain open temporarily during shutdown

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, will continue full operations despite a lapse in federal funding at its recreation areas along the Okeechobee Waterway. This means Corps operated campgrounds and day use areas will remain open and all reservations will be honored for as long as possible.

The Corps is unique among federal agencies in that it is funded mostly through individual projects that may carry over funds from year to year. All Jacksonville District recreation areas have enough remaining funding for work to continue temporarily. If an appropriations bill isn’t passed, the District will reevaluate its remaining funds to determine which projects can continue to operate and for how long.

“We are doing everything we can to allow public use of our campgrounds and recreation areas for as long as we can,” said Adam Tarplee, acting assistant chief of the South Florida Operations Office. “There are a lot of campers looking for a place to go right now, and we want to let them know that we currently have camp sites available, especially at Ortona Campground. Campers must understand that at some point, we may also have to close our facilities on short notice.”

The following campgrounds will remain open until further notice:

  • St. Lucie South Campground in Stuart (772-287-1382)
  • Ortona South Campground near Moore Haven (863-675-8400)
  • W.P. Franklin Campground North in Alva (239-694-8770)

The following recreation parks will remain open until further notice:

  • Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail around the Herbert Hoover Dike
  • Clewiston Visitor Center
  • W.P. Franklin South Recreation Area in Alva
  • St. Lucie Visitor Canter and St. Lucie South Recreation Area in Stuart
  • Ortona North Recreation Area in Moore Haven

Once Jacksonville District expends their remaining Fiscal Year 2013 budget funds, only staff essential to public health and safety, including lock and dam operations and emergency response readiness, and the staff essential to management of ongoing construction projects, will continue to work.

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