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Padre Island National Seashore open after shutdown, but workers remain wary of looming deadline

Posted at 5:30 PM, Jan 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-30 19:12:43-05

After the 35-day government shutdown, the Padre Island National Seashore is once again running at full capacity.

“We’re here to serve the public and they are really glad to see us and we are really glad to see them,” Chuck Lassiter, chief of interpretation and education for the national park said.

However, the clock is already ticking on the next potential shutdown.

President Donald Trump has given a Feb. 15 deadline to get the funding for his proposed border wall. If no agreement is reached, the government will shut down once more. However, the officials at Padre Island National Seashore seem to be unfazed.

“We’re going to be doing normal day to day operations right now,” Lassiter said.

But if and when the day government shutdowns, Lassiter is positive that PINS employees will be ready.

“We have a plan in place obviously from previous shutdowns and it doesn’t really vary from one shutdown to another,” Lassiter said.

It will start by getting rid of what Lassiter and his team call “the non-essentials.”

“The Malaquite Visitors Center is usually (a segment) that will not be open,” Lassiter said. “The non-essentials will be what’s closed and the essentials are anything that helps protect life and property in the park.”

For now, the park remains fully operational since the end of the shutdown. You can find all the information on the National Park Services website.