News Release

Dry Tortugas National Park will temporarily close on January 2

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Date: January 1, 2023
Contact: Migrant landings: John Beal, HSTF-SE, USCG District 7, 305-415-6680
Contact: Dry Tortugas National Park: Michelle Collier, 305-978-2458

KEY WEST, Fla. – On January 2 at 8 am, Dry Tortugas National Park will temporarily close to public access while law enforcement and medical personnel evaluate, provide care for and coordinate transport to Key West for approximately 300 migrants who arrived in the park over the past couple of days. The closure, which is expected to last several days, is necessary for the safety of visitors and staff because of the resources and space needed to attend to the migrants. Concession-operated ferry and sea plane services are temporarily suspended.

Like elsewhere in the Florida Keys, the park has recently seen an increase in people arriving by boat from Cuba and landing on the islands of Dry Tortugas National Park. Park first responders provide food, water and basic medical attention until the Department of Homeland Security arrives and takes the lead.

While the park is closed, vessels may seek safe harbor in the designated areas within the one nautical mile anchoring zone around Garden Key, including Bird Key Harbor.

There will be no visitor services available while the closure is in effect and emergency services will be extremely limited.

All closures will remain in place until further notice. Please check “Alerts” on the park website for current information.

Family members in the United States inquiring about possible family members interdicted at sea are asked to contact their local U.S. representative’s office. The Coast Guard will not confirm the names of migrants in our custody out of concern for their privacy and safety. 

Last updated: January 4, 2023

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