Tue October 1, 2013
Government Shutdown Hits Delmarva (Update)
The government shutdown has closed the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia and the Coastal Delaware National Wildlife Refuge Complex until further notice.
U.S. Fish and & Wildlife Service officials said that only those activities that are necessary for an emergency or to protect human life or property would be staffed.
WBOC reports that Public access will also be barred and wildlife management activities and public programs were canceled.
That includes NWR lighthouse celebration set for October 5th as well as the youth waterfowl hunt at the Coastal NWR Complex that had been planned for the same day.
The Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland and Virginia is not expected to take visitors but the Assateague State Park in Maryland should stay open.
Around 40 to 50 of the National Park Service’s staff are expected to be sent home including seasonal help.
And more than 200 students who had been planning to visit the Assateague Island National Park this week will have their plans postponed.
NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility are in limbo with it 11-hundred employees and contractors.
Rebecca Hudson, a spokesperson with the facility told the Salisbury Daily Times, that there will be some temporary furloughs of non-essential personnel but security personnel will be maintained.
The biggest impact may be on the scheduled November 4th launch of the Defense Department’s Operationally Responsive Space-3 satellite aboard a Minotaur 1 Rocket if the shutdown continues into the fall.
(See: Salisbury Daily Times)
Delaware is bracing for the impact of the government shutdown with more than 3-thousand civilians employed by the federal government.
Some programs will be effect immediately like the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and children.
Low income energy assistance fund could also be affected as the state enters the winter months.
Most education programs will not be affected since they are funded in advance of the school year including assistance to low-income students.
At the Dover Air Force Base, the Wilmington News Journal reports that officials there are trying to figure out which of the nearly 1000 civilian employees will get furloughed.
Meanwhile, Governor Jack Markell sharply criticized Republicans for linking the budget issues with the Affordable Care Act.
Fellow Democrat Senator Tom Carper said he was planning on closing his state offices and furloughing his staff.
Senator Chris Coons sent out an email to constituents saying that his Wilmington and Dover offices would be closed and most of his staff furloughed if the government shutdown.
Congressman John Carney said his offices in Delaware and Washington would be open with a reduced staff.