Biscayne Park Closed To Boaters For Columbus Day Weekend

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(CBS4) Boaters partying off Eliott Key in Biscayne Bay during Columbus Day Weekend in Oct. 2010.

(CBS4) Boaters partying off Eliott Key in Biscayne Bay during Columbus Day Weekend in Oct. 2010.

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Gary Nelson has been a member of the CBS4 News team since Septem...
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The government shutdown has crippled national parks across the country, including Biscayne National Park. Now, with Columbus Day approaching federal, state and local law enforcement officers will be asking boaters who normally hang out on the water in the park to leave.

Thousands of boaters typically gather in the parks water near Elliott Key where they anchor, tie their boats together, raft, play music, dance, drink, and lots of other things.

But with Biscayne Park shut down, officers will be patrolling the waters to keep people out, according to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald.

According to the Herald, officers will be patrolling the areas of Black Point and Homestead Bayfront marinas which are gateways to the park. Officials have tried to limit or stop the Columbus Day activities of boaters in the area, but the drunken revelry has continued for years.

The Herald reported that boaters who are turned away could turn to Mashta Point near Key Biscayne or Monument Island in Molloy Channel off Miami Beach for the annual partying.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Coast Guard said they would be ready for the partying no matter where it ended up, according to the Herald.

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