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How federal government shutdown affects First Coast

National parks in north Florida impacted by standoff in U.S. Congress

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Castillo de San Marcos is one of several national parks that is closed by the government shutdown and some visitors say it's disrupting their holiday plans.

The closure comes at one busiest times of the year for St. Augustine. People from all over are exploring the historic city, but they can't get a look inside the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States.

"We traveled all the way here from Wyoming with our families to see some of this stuff, and the one thing I wanted to see was the oldest fort in the U.S.," one man said.

A couple visiting from the United Kingdom, a woman from South Florida and a man from New York said they were also disappointed to miss seeing the inside of the historic fort. 

"We are coming across a lot of federal monuments closed. We were up in Atlanta before and the Martin Luther King Church was closed," visitor Mike Sharp said. "It was disappointing."

All the tourists who spoke with News4Jax in St. Augustine shared the same sentiment about the situation.

"Our politicians are to blame for all of this," one visitor commented.

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Castillo de San Marcos is not the only national park in the region that's closed due to the government shutdown. All facilities at Fort Mantanzas, the Timucuan Preserve and Cumberland Island in Southeast Georgia are all closed, and some access to the public property may be limited.

More than 420,000 government employees are required to work without pay during the shutdown.   


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