NEWS, POLITICS & ACTIVISM — January 25, 2019 at 2:33 pm

Community members affected by government shutdown

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The US Capitol on the first morning of a partial government shutdown in Washington, DC on Dec. 22, 2018. Photo courtesy of USA Today/Photo courtesy of Jim Lo Scalzo, EPA-EFE

On Dec. 22, 2018, The United States Congress did not approve President Donald Trump’s $5 billion plan to build a wall located on the US-Mexico border, due to a recent conflict between himself and the Democrats.

This government shutdown has been the longest in U.S. history and is affecting many people, specifically federal employees, as they haven’t gotten paid since the shutdown began.

National parks and museums have been one of the most affected departments as a result of  the shutdown. They are either closed down or have limited staffing, including Florida’s own Everglades National Park.

Currently, marine waters are publicly accessible, however extreme caution is advised. Most of the main roads are usable, many restrooms are closed, and a plethora of stations are unstaffed at the moment according to the National Park Service.

“Due to the lapse in federal appropriations, the National Park Service (NPS) is unable to fully staff the properties under its management,” according to a news release by the Sun Sentinel from Everglades National Park. “It is not feasible to close or otherwise prohibit all access to NPS properties. Under these circumstances, the planned and current accessibility of Everglades National Park, Biscayne National Park, Dry Tortugas National Park, and Big Cypress National Preserve under this government shutdown, is reflected below, and subject to change without prior notice.”

Some other national parks that are being impacted are Big Cypress National Park, Biscayne National Park, Castillo de San Marcos, Dry Tortugas and many others. Many of these parks are completely closed. There are growing health and safety concerns such as the overflowing of toilets, dangerous weather concerns and many other dangers.

“What this has to do with national parks is beyond me, and this leads our ecosystem to a pitfall because when management isn’t present, everything starts to descend,” said sophomore Zachary Beer.

Across social media, TSA checkpoints have also become a big problem. The TSA is funded by the government, and due to the shutdown, the government hasn’t been giving TSA workers their money, TSA lines have become very long and chaotic. Many travelers have taken this problem to twitter and social media.

“We need to pay our bills now not later,” Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport TSA worker John Hubert said to CBS Miami.

Many people also question whether food inspections are still going on during the shutdown. The government shutdown did result in a stop on FDA food safety inspections.

Florida’s crops face a $120 billion annual threat from exotic pests and diseases — but federal funds to pay the hundreds of department employees who inspect the state’s citrus crops for devastating diseases are almost gone,” according to the Miami Herald.

These are only a few of the greatest factors being affected by the government shutdown, however, almost everything is being impacted such as law enforcement, IRS, science/research/health departments, social security and much more.

All in all the whole community is being greatly affected by this because the Everglades bring a lot of tourists down here, travel is a big part of living in Florida and a large portion of the economy comes from food production.

Nadia Murillo

Nadia Murillo is a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She is the Assistant Sports/News Editor for the Eagle Eye and plays varsity water polo for MSD. In the future she hopes to pursue a career in public relations. When she isn't writing stories, she is either hanging out with friends, going on adventures, or sipping on a matcha latte.

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