Now that the federal government is mostly closed, what does that mean for Brooklyn? Aside from the serious problems most Americans will share, including furloughed federal employees, the economic loss to businesses that depend on them, and the limited access to necessary federal services, the parks are also shut down: “All areas of the National Park and National Wildlife Refuge Systems [are] closed and public access… restricted,” CNN explains; more than 82 percent of US Department of Interior employees will be furloughed. Most of the parks in Brooklyn are a part of the city’s park system, but large chunks of those in the borough’s southeast belong to the Gateway National Recreation Area, a network of green spaces that runs from New Jersey to Queens and is overseen by the Interior.
Until the House Republicans behave less like anarchists, the most notable casualty will be Floyd Bennett Field, the 1,400-acre former airfield that’s now a series of trails, campgrounds, and former hangars converted for sports and restoring old aircraft. Also closed are Plumb Beach, Bergen Beach, and Canarsie Pier, the 600-foot extension where more than 1,000 people come every day just to fish—basically all the waterfront areas ringing the Brooklyn coast from Plumb Beach east.
The parks extend into Queens: the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge will be closed, as will Fort Tilden. “my CYO soccer game at Fort Tilden was canceled during last gov shutdown,” DNAinfo reporter Katie Honan posted to Twitter, “and I’m pretty sure I cried.” So, among causing substantial pain and grief to millions of Americans, way to make little kids cry, House Republicans.
Follow Henry Stewart on Twitter @henrycstewart