TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The safety and welfare of our employees and the public we serve are of top priority to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). As we continue to monitor the latest guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), DEP is taking proactive measures and preventative actions to protect visitors, staff and volunteers.
Currently Florida State Parks remain open for day use, however, effective immediately, all Florida State Parks are changing day-use visitation hours to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Additionally, DEP is cancelling all events, activities, special event reservations, pavilion rentals and camping reservations at Florida State Parks for the next 60 days.
Existing overnight camping reservations that begin Wednesday, March 18, will be honored. Visitors must arrive prior to 5 p.m. on March 18, to secure their reservation. After Wednesday, all reservations moving forward will be cancelled and refunded. Beginning Friday, March 20, campgrounds and all overnight accommodations will be fully closed.
ReserveAmerica, the Florida State Parks partner in camping reservations, will reach out to all affected parties to refund camping reservations. ReserveAmerica can also be reached directly at 1-800-326-3521 or TDD 888-433-0287 if visitors have questions or need to modify existing reservations.
DEP’s Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection facilities will also be closing the following centers until further notice:
- Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve
- Guana Tolomato Matanzas (GTM) National Estuarine Research Reserve
- Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
These decisions are in-line with guidance from the CDC to avoid the gathering of large groups of people. DEP and Florida State Parks recognize the nature of the situation surrounding COVID-19 and acknowledge these decisions may change quickly. We will continue to keep the public informed on the Florida State Parks webpage, all social media channels and through press releases, as the situation continues to develop. The department will provide updates when events and activities will resume.
For the protection of our staff and our day-use visitors, all state parks, aquatic preserves and NERRs have been provided with signage and guidance on preventative actions to reduce transmission of respiratory illness. All staff are fully informed and utilizing the protocol urged by the CDC and Florida Department of Health. Surfaces and areas that are frequently touched are consistently disinfected throughout the day, and all facilities are regularly and thoroughly cleaned to protect visitor safety.
DEP continues to be in close communication with the Governor’s Office, the Florida Department of Health and CDC regarding the most recent COVID-19 status. For any other questions related to COVID-19 in Florida, please contact the Department of Health’s dedicated COVID-19 Call Center by calling 866-779-6121 or emailing COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org. The call center is available 24 hours a day.
For additional information on Florida State Parks, please contact 850-245-2157. For additional information on Office Resilience and Coastal Protection facilities, contact DEP’s Office of Public Services at 850-245-2118.