Today was the first day since the partial government shutdown began that a full crew worked at the Padre Island National Seashore. Most of the facilities were closed during the shutdown except for a camp on Bird Island Basin. A skeletal crew worked during the shutdown without pay.
After a deal was made Friday to reopen the government, park officials made sure the visitor’s center would be open on Saturday. Those doors opened at 10 a.m. Maintenance crews have spent the weekend and a good portion of today inspecting all of the facilities and computer systems and removing impediments from the beach for visitors. Charles Lassiter, Chief of Interpretations and Public Informations Officer, says so far they’ve only seen the usual wear and tear and all facilities should be open very quickly.
The visitor’s center has already had a good amount of people stopping in this weekend and today.
“We had a lot of people that were looking for a place to come,” said Lassiter, “We had the winter Texans; they’re coming down and our parking lot was full of campers here at Malaquite Visitor’s Center.”
The park remained open for anyone wanting to visit, however, park rangers were not available nor most of the facilities. Lassiter says the public did their part to clean up after themselves.
“I know that some volunteers came in and tried to make sure things were picked up. So we really appreciate the efforts that the public put forth […] during the shutdown to really police behind themselves to make sure their trash was put away properly and they didn’t leave much of a footprint,” said Lassiter.