Published: Oct 06, 2013 9:36 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 06, 2013 11:34 PM EDT

SANIBEL, FL.--Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge has now been closed for almost a week because of the government shutdown.

Now one of the directors is headed to Washington to urge lawmakers to re-open the landmark.

"It's huge in local communities that are surrounded by refuges and water management districts," said Birgit Vertesch with the Friends of the Refuge non profit organization.

On Tuesday, Vertesch will be speaking to the Environment and Public Works Committee in Washington DC.

She will warn the committee how devastating it can be to close down a refuge that has more than 800,000 visitors a year who pump money in to the local economy.

"I'm going to be talking about the economic impact, for every dollar appropriated in federal funds, Sanibel and the local economy generates 30 dollars," she said.

Vertesch will also talk about the employees who  have been let go just because of the government shut down.

"We have a concessionaire that is non-government but because they work on government land had to close their doors, laid off 23 people and none of them will get salaries back when they open up the government again," said Vertesch.