Corps to close campgrounds, day use parks along Okeechobee Waterway

Published Oct. 8, 2013

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District will close all of its campgrounds and day-use parks at noon on Wednesday, Oct. 9. The district previously announced it intended to keep these areas open as long as possible. However, support to recreation areas can no longer be sustained as the district progresses through its orderly shutdown.

The Corps sincerely regrets the inconvenience and impact this decision may have on customers who have been looking forward to visiting the district's parks and campgrounds.

"We know that this is a time of year when many vacationing families are using or planning to use Corps recreation facilities, and we will reopen them for public use as quickly as possible," said Lt. Col. Thomas Greco, deputy district commander for south Florida.

Customers on site prior to the closure going into effect will be required to vacate campgrounds and parks not later than noon on Wednesday, Oct. 9. Customers required to vacate campsites early will receive a partial refund for any unused portion of their reservations. Customers may elect to leave reservations open for possible use after the shutdown is lifted. To request a refund please contact the reservation customer service at 1-888-448-1474 (TDD 1-877-833-6777). If the customer chooses to do nothing, the reservation service will automatically cancel reservations after their departure date during the shutdown period.

The following campgrounds will remain closed until further notice: St. Lucie South Campground in Stuart (772-287-1382), Ortona South Campground near Moore Haven (863-675-8400) and W.P. Franklin Campground North in Alva (239-694-8770).

The following recreation parks will remain closed until further notice:  Clewiston Visitor Center, W.P. Franklin South Recreation Area in Alva, St. Lucie Visitor Center and St. Lucie South Recreation Area in Stuart, Ortona North Recreation Area in Moore Haven.

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.

John Campbell

Release no. 13-082