Extremely high tides and waves associated with Hurricane Sandy have caused significant damage to the docks and oceanside boardwalk at Biscayne National Park’s Elliott Key, necessitating a temporary closure of the island while a complete damage assessment is being conducted.

“Our initial review indicates that there are significant safety concerns on Elliott Key — especially given the severity of the damage to the dock. There are additional concerns due to the high amount of debris that washed up on the island,” said Superintendent Mark Lewis. “We know people will be disappointed, but our primary concern is the safety of the visiting public and our employees. As we make a more complete assessment of the damages, we will keep the public informed of when the island is safe for public use.”

Adams and Boca Chita Keys appear to have less damage initially, but additional evaluation is continuing in other areas of the park, including island trails, the Black Point Jetty, the sites of the park’s Maritime Heritage Trail, and Stiltsville.

Water levels are still quite high, which hampers assessments, but additional information will be released when it is available. Interested parties are invited to follow the park’s Facebook (www.Facebook.com/BiscayneNPS) and Twitter (www.Twitter.com/BiscayneNPS) feeds for additional updates.

Logo courtesy National Park Service

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