A budget impasse has shuttered state parks and Motor Vehicle Commission offices throughout Cape May County, including Belleplain State Forest, Cape May Point Park (and the Lighthouse on the property), and Corsons Inlet.
State parks, including Belleplain, posted notices on websites and Facebook pages that reservations were canceled and campers already on site had to leave by 11 a.m.
All motor vehicle offices closed Saturday as part of the state shutdown initiated at midnight Friday when legislators failed to passed a FY18 budget. Online services are available. The shutdown affects all nonessential services.
According to the Department of Environmental Protection, the state parks, including popular beaches, will be closed except for state park police, who will be patrolling. That includes Corsons Inlet and Cape May Point.
“Swimming is not permitted while the parks are closed,” the DEP wrote in a notice posted on its website. “We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause over your holiday weekend.”
The Cape May Lighthouse, located in Cape May Point State Park, and the World War II Lookout Tower, on Sunset Boulevard near Cape May Point, were closed to the public and will be until the stalemate is broken.
"We regret this political impasse, for it disrupts thousands of visitors' plans for the holiday weekend and because it hurts nonprofit organizations such as MAC (the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities)," said Michael Zuckerman, the MAC director.
Remaining in operation under the shutdown will be NJ Transit, state prisons, the State Police, state hospitals and treatment centers as well as casinos, race tracks and the lottery.