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State officials closed all state parks throughout Florida Monday in an effort to tamp down the coronavirus, impacting such popular spots as Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park in Key Biscayne and John Pennekamp in Key Largo and prohibiting fishing from all bridges in the Florida Keys.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Capt. David Dipre, the agency’s top official in the island chain, broke the news to government officials and business leaders during a conference call Monday morning.
He said the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, which runs state parks, made the decision.
“We recognized right away that these would be a hot spot, in the Upper Keys in particular,” Dipre said.
State park-maintained trails and greenways, which pass over the bridges, will remain open, Dipre said.
In Miami-Dade County, three parks will be affected: Bill Baggs in Key Biscayne, Oleta River State Park off 163rd Street in Northeast Miami-Dade and The Barnacle in Coconut Grove.
In Broward County, two state parks will be closed: Hugh Taylor Birch State Park in Fort Lauderdale and Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park in Dania Beach.
In Monroe County, nine state parks will be closed, including popular spots for divers and snorkelers such as John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and Bahia Honda State Park in Big Pine Key. In Key West, Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, a Civil War-era fort, also is closed. To see a full list of the parks closed, click here.
The decision comes the same day Monroe County closed all public boat ramps to visitors.