KEYS TOURISM ADVISORY Oct. 17, 2013 • 8:20 a.m.
Information From the Monroe County Tourist Development Council
Everglades/Dry Tortugas National Parks Begin to Reopen
Portions of Everglades National Park reopened Thursday shortly after President Obama signed a bipartisan measure to end a 16-day partial government shutdown.
Superintendent Dan Kimball emailed most of some 350 Commercial Use Authorization permit holders informing them he had received a directive from the National Park Service regional office to begin an orderly opening.
He immediately opened areas of Everglades including Florida Bay not dependent on the reopening of facilities or return of furloughed staff.
The measure means Florida Keys fishing guides and others who were shut out of Florida Bay for 16 days, can return.
About a third of the 2,380-square-mile park incorporates Florida Bay.
Kimball said early Thursday that he expects Everglades to be fully open by Friday morning and that Dry Tortugas National Park should be fully operational by this afternoon.
Key West Seaplane Adventures have received permission to begin service today with a 10 a.m. flight to Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas. The Fort Jefferson Ferry has been in dry dock for scheduled maintenance throughout most of the closure, and is scheduled to resume trips early next week.