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10/2/2013 - Assateague shuts down
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The partial government shutdown has resulted in the closing of the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and the cancellation of the lighthouse celebration program scheduled for October 5. While the shutdown is in effect, public access to NWS properties will be prohibited and fish and wildlife management activities and public programs will be canceled. In addition, the Assatgeague National Seashore will also be closed during the shutdown.
The news isn't good for the tourist industry on Chincoteague but Susanne Taylor of the Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce said it could open the way for tourists to enjoy some of the other things Chincoteague has to offer. Taylor said that business on the Island this summer has been very strong. She stated she has heard that there have been some cancellations for weekend reservations this weekend but hasn't heard of a large number so far. She stated that the Oyster Festival will be held as scheduled and ticket demand has been very strong this year.
Meanwhile, NASA has furloughed all what it considers as non essential employees. We don't have any word on the number of NASA Wallops workers that will be taking an unscheduled vacation. The next major launch is scheduled for December when another Antares Cygnus launch is planned. There's no word on whether or not the shut down will affect that launch date.
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