• Spring-time view of the seashore, with shorebirds returning to the surf.

    Cape Hatteras

    National Seashore North Carolina

National Park Service Beach Access Report for April 26, 2007

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Date: April 26, 2007
Contact: Outer Banks Group, (252) 473-2111

Weekly Up-date:

Based on a suggestion from an individual on our mailing list, beginning with this week’s report new information since the previous report will be shown in Blue BOLD font so that it is discernable both on the computer screen and in a back-and-white printout.  We appreciate the suggestion!


Pre-nesting areas were established the week of March 26, 2007.   There will be additional adjustments in RESOURCE protection areas, based on wildlife activity, as the season progresses.  These updates will be shown on future Beach Access Reports.  All distances are approximate.   NPS resource management personnel have received sea turtle training this week.  Daily turtle patrols will begin May 1.  

Bodie Island District (Coquina Beach to Ramp 27)
There are approximately 16.5 miles of ocean shoreline in the Bodie Island District (excluding Pea Island).  16.5 miles are open to pedestrians and 14.9 miles are open for ORV access.

Ramp 1 - Ramp 2 (Coquina Beach Area)
A  SAFETY beach closure is 1.6 miles long. This section is open for pedestrian access, but not ORV access.

Ramp 2 - Ramp 4 to Bodie Island Spit
The beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access along the ocean shoreline to the inlet sound side near Herbert Bonner (Oregon Inlet) Bridge. Some areas may experience access limitations during extreme high tides or winds.
A RESOURCE protection area (pre-nesting area) was established at Bodie Island Spit on March 26, 2007. It includes interior areas of the spit and the shoreline of the “pond.”  Access to pond from the northeast side is closed as part of the RESOURCE protection area.  An ocean/inlet shoreline access corridor is currently being maintained above the high tide line for ORV and pedestrian access to the southwest side of the inlet near Bonner Bridge.   Between 8 and 23 piping plovers, have been observed foraging within the area since last week’s report, including several pairs demonstrating breeding behavior. 
Villages of Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo: (north of Ramp 23 for 3 miles to Pea Island NWR boundary)
Beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access.

Ramp 23 - Ramp 27:
Beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access.  


Hatteras Island District  (Ramp 27 South to Hatteras Inlet)
The Hatteras District has a total distance of 31.9 miles of ocean shoreline. There are 30.3 miles open to pedestrians and 21.9 miles of beach are open for ORV access. ORV use is restricted by 8.4 miles of safety closures. Approximately 1.6 miles are closed due to full beach resource protection closures.   (Re-calculate distances for this section.)

Ramp 27 - Ramp 30:
Beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access from Ramp 27 south for 0.8 of a mile.   Beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access from Ramp 30 north for 0.7 of a mile.  Currently, there is no through access for pedestrians or ORVs between Ramps 27 and 30.  
A RESOURCE protection area was established on April 18, 2007 for a pair of nesting American Oystercatchers on a narrow beach approximately 1 mile north of Ramp 30.   On April 19 and 20 two additional RESOURCE protection areas were established for two additional American Oystercatcher nests north and south of the above nest.  As of April 23, 2007, these three separate full beach closures have no through access and preclude access to a 1.0 mile section of beach.  

Ramp 30 - Ramp 34:
Beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access.

Ramp 34 - Ramp 38:
Beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access from Ramp 34 to 0.2 miles south of Avon Pier.  Currently, there is no through access for ORVs to Ramp 38.  Pedestrian access is open.  
A SAFETY closure of 1.6 miles begins 0.2 miles south of Avon Pier and extends to Ramp 38.  This section is open to pedestrian access, but not ORV access.  
Ramp 38 - Ramp 43:
The beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access for 1.8 miles south of Ramp 38.  Currently there is no through access for ORVs between Ramp 38 and Ramp 43.  Pedestrian access is open.
    A RESOURCE protection area, approximately 0.2 of a mile long, begins 1.3 mile   south of Ramp 38 (across from Canadian Hole) for numerous American oystercatcher scrapes.  No nest found as of date/time of this report. There is currently a 30-ft. ORV and pedestrian access corridor above the high tide line.
   A SAFETY closure is 2.8 miles long, beginning 1.8 of a mile south of Ramp 38 to 0.4 of a mile north of Ramp 43.  This section is open to pedestrian access, but not ORV access.

Ramp 43 - Ramp 44:
The beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access along the ocean shoreline to Cape Point.

Ramp 44 - Ramp 49:  
The beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access from Ramp 44 south to Cape Point and from the Cape Point end of the closure south/west for approximately  0.1 mile, where there is full beach closure due to a Resource protection area. The full beach closure extends to Ramp 45. The Interdunal Road between Ramps 44 and 45 is open, with ORV and pedestrian access open between Ramps 45 and 49. Salt Pond Road is closed due to a Resource protection area.
Cape Point:
ORV and pedestrian access is open to Cape Point from Ramps 43 and 44, and south/west from the Cape Point end of the closure along the shoreline for approximately 0.1 mile to where a RESOURCE protection area begins.
A RESOURCE protection area (pre-nesting area) was established March 27, 2007.  It included interior areas of Cape Point and a complete shoreline closure that started approximately 0.4 miles south/west of Cape Point and ended approximately 0.1 east of Salt Pond Road.  On April 4 the RESOURCE protection area was modified and expanded south/west to Ramp 45 due to piping plover foraging behavior outside the protected area.  On April 16 the RESOURCE protection area was modified based on shoreline changes due to the recent storm.  The total closure distance is 1.2 miles.   Between 7 and 12 piping plovers have been observed foraging within the area since last week’s report, including at least 3 pairs demonstrating breeding behavior. 
South Beach:
The Interdunal Road is open to ORV and pedestrian access between Ramps 44 and 45. Salt Pond Road is closed due to a RESOURCE protection area (described above). Access is open between Ramps 45 and 49.
Ramp 49 - Ramp 55:
The beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access for 1.1 miles south of Ramp 49 to the boundary of the Frisco and  Hatteras Village closure. Pedestrian access is open to Ramp 55. Currently there is no through ORV access between Ramp 49 and Ramp 55.
A SAFETY closure for Frisco Village and Hatteras Village is 4.0 miles long.  This section is open to pedestrian access, but not ORV access.
A RESOURCE protection area for nesting American Oystercatchers was established on the sound shoreline south of the Sandy Bay parking area between Frisco and Hatteras Village.  This area is closed to ORV and pedestrian access.
Ramp 55 - Hatteras Inlet:
ORV and pedestrian access is open along the ocean shoreline from Ramp 55 south to 0.3 mile south of the southern exit of the Pole Road, where a RESOURCE protection area begins.  Pole Road is open from Ramp 55 south to the Isabel overwash areas, where traffic is routed onto the beach due to a RESOURCE protection area.  South of the overwash areas, Pole Road is open.   The Cable Crossing route to Hatteras Inlet has reopened to ORV use.  The northern section remains narrow and may be impassable to vehicles during high tides.  An alternate “Spur Road” has been established for pedestrian and ORV access from the south end of Pole Road to the sound shoreline near Hatteras Inlet.  This will provide more reliable access to the inlet (than the Cable Crossing route) during periods of high tides. Pedestrian access is open at the inlet from the sound side to the Rip.
A RESOURCE protection area (pre-nesting area) was established at the Isabel overwash area from the sound shoreline to the ocean dune on March 28.  Ocean shoreline access is open past this area.   Up to three piping plover have been observed foraging in this area since last week’s report.  No pairs or breeding behavior have been observed at this location to date.
A RESOURCE protection area for foraging piping plovers was established on April 24 along the ocean shoreline adjacent to the Isabel overwash area. There is an access corridor through this area along the upper beach.  Up to three piping plover have been observed foraging in this area.  No pairs or breeding behavior have been observed at this location to date.
A RESOURCE protection area (pre-nesting area) was established March 28 south of the southern exit of Pole Road.  The area includes upper beach and interior areas south of Pole Road and a full ocean beach closure beginning approximately 0.3 miles south of the southern exit of Pole Road.  The full beach closure is approximately 0.35 miles long and continues south/west to the inlet in the vicinity of the “Rip.”  One piping plover has been observed foraging in this area since last week’s report.  No pairs or breeding behavior have been observed at this location to date.  An American oystercatcher nest, with 3 eggs, has occurred within this area.    ORV and pedestrian access is open along the sound shoreline from Cable Crossing and from Spur Road to the northwest corner of the spit.  From that point, pedestrian access continues for several hundred feet south/east to the vicinity of the “Rip” where the RESOURCE protection area and full shoreline closure begins.
Ocracoke Island District 
The Ocracoke Island District has a total of 16.3 miles of ocean shoreline.  There are 16.3  miles open to pedestrians and approximately 10.9 miles  are open to ORV access.  ORV use is restricted by approximately 5.2 miles of SAFETY closure and approximately 0.20 mile is restricted by a RESOURCE protection area.

Ramp 59 - Ramp 67:
There is no through ORV shoreline access between these two ramps. Pedestrian access is open.
ORV and pedestrian access is open for 0.4 mile north of Ramp 59.
A  SAFETY closure is 5.2 miles long, and begins 1.0 miles south of Ramp 59 to 1.4 miles north of Ramp 67.  This section is open to pedestrian access but not to ORV access.
A RESOURCE protection area was established on April 8 at the north end of Ocracoke Island on the north/western end of the island and shoreline. The closure starts 0.4 miles northeast of Ramp 59 and extends 0.2 of a mile towards the Hatteras Inlet and west along the inlet side.  The closure is parallel to the ocean allowing beach access for approximately 0.6 of a mile.   Up to three piping plover have been observed foraging in this area since last week’s report, with recent observations of breeding behavior.  
On April 18, 2007, NPS staff discovered the first Leatherback turtle crawl and nest of the season on Ocracoke Island south of Ramp 59.  A RESOURCE closure has been established and marked by an approximate 30’ X 30’ enclosure.  There is oceanside access for ORV and pedestrian around the nest.

Ramp 67 - Ramp 70  (includes Ramp 68):
The beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access for 1.0 mile south of Ramp 68  where a RESOURCE closure, approximately 0.5 mile long, begins.  The beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access for 1 mile north of Ramp 70.  There currently there is no through access for ORVs between Ramps 67 and 70.
    A RESOURCE protection area was established for a 1-egg American oystercatcher nest, which was subsequently lost.  In 2006 the same pair of birds nested/renested 3 times in the same general area. The area was expanded on April 18 to incorporate last years nest sites and provide for a re-nesting attempt.  

Ramp 70 - Ramp 72 and to South Ocracoke Spit: 
The beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access from Ramp 70 south along ocean shoreline, for approximately 4.8 miles, to the inlet.  
A RESOURCE protection area (pre-nesting area) was established March 29 that encompasses interior and soundside areas of the spit.  Ocean shoreline access is open to South Point.  On April 11, the resource protection area was extended approximately 500 feet from on the southwestern edge towards the sound and encompasses an American Oystercatcher nest.  Access remains open to South Point.   Up to 15 piping plover have been observed foraging in this area since last week’s report, with recent observations of breeding behavior.  There is also one American oystercatcher nest within the closure.  
A RESOURCE protection area was established for foraging piping plover  along the ocean shoreline beginning approximately 0.9 mile south of Ramp 70.  An access corridor is open on the upper beach and access is open to South Point.

Temporary resource protection areas are necessary to protect threatened and endangered species and species of concern including Piping Plovers, American Oystercatchers, Colonial Waterbirds (Terns and Skimmers), and sea turtles.  Posted areas are closed to vehicles, pedestrians and pets.  

Did You Know?

The Principal Lightkeeper's Quarters and the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse move toward their new homes, a safer distance from the ocean.

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest brick structure ever moved. When it was built in 1870, it stood 1,500 feet from the shore. By 1999, the lighthouse was within 100 feet of the ocean. To protect it from the encroaching sea, it was moved inland a total of 2,900 feet over a 23-day period.