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    Cape Hatteras

    National Seashore North Carolina

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National Park Service Beach Access Report for August 23 2007

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Date: August 23, 2007
Contact: Outer Banks Group, 252-473-2111

During the month of August, park visitors will experience a shift in the resource protection areas as birds fledge and sea turtle nests hatch. The Park continues to operate and manage access under the Interim Strategy guidance. Beach Access is open as described below.

National Seashore beaches and inlets experience varying degrees of erosion and notable high tides and travel may be limited during high wind/tide conditions. Knowledge of tidal changes and caution should be exercised while traveling the beaches of the park. Peak season and visitation to park beaches requires extra precautionary measures. Please be aware the speed limit on all beaches is 25 mph and travel in areas with high concentrations of people and vehicles may require lower speeds. Use caution! Pets MUST be kept on a 6’ leash at all times.

The Park Beach Access Report is complemented weekly with the Park Resource Management Field Summary.

** Blue text = updated news.

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. There are approximately several posted sea turtle nests located in the 16.5 mile stretch of beach between Ramp 1 to Oregon Inlet and south to Ramp 27. Continuing through the weeks of August 20 and 27, as "hatch window" dates approach, the visiting public can expect to see some additional full beach closures in this area.

Ramp 1 - Ramp 2 (Coquina Beach Area)

A SEASONAL beach closure is 1.6 miles long and went into effect May 15. The beach from the south boundary of the Town of Nags Head to Coquina Beach is closed to ORV access but remains open for pedestrian access.

Ramp 2 - Ramp 4 to Bodie Island Spit

The beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access along the ocean shoreline for 1.6 miles north of Ramp 4 and 2.3 miles south of Ramp 4. 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. This includes the 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. As of Wednesday, August 16, one Piping Plover chick was successfully fledged in the Bodie Island area. The 0.9 mile closure (located 1.3 miles south of Ramp 4) was removed on August 16. ORV shoreline access to Bodie Island Spit and Oregon Inlet is open.

A RESOURCE protection area is established on Green Island for nesting Least Tern nests/colony. The island is still closed to landing while nesting activity is in progress.

Villages of Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo: (north of Ramp 23 for 3 miles to Pea Island NWR boundary)

Annual SEASONAL village beach closure went into effect on May 15. The beach areas in front of the villages of Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo are closed to ORV access but remain open to pedestrian access. This section of beach is approximately 3.0 miles long.

Ramp 23 - Ramp 27 (4.3 miles):

Beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access along the ocean shoreline for 4.3 miles.

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 approximately 29.0 miles open to pedestrians and approximately 21.1 miles of beach are open for ORV access. ORV use is restricted by 10.9 miles of SEASONAL and SAFETY closures. There are approximately 30 posted sea turtle nests located in the 31.9 mile stretch of beach between Ramp 27 and Hatteras Inlet. Continuing through the weeks of August 20 and 27, as "hatch window" dates approach, the visiting public can expect to see some additional full beach closures in this area.

Ramp 27 - Ramp 30 (2.2 miles):

Beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access along the ocean shoreline for 2.2 miles.

Ramp 30 - Ramp 34 (4.3 miles):

Beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access along the ocean shoreline for 4.3 miles between Ramp 30 and Ramp 34. There areseveral posted sea turtle nests located in the 4.3 mile stretch of beach between Ramp 30 and Ramp 34.

Ramp 34 - Ramp 38 (4.0 miles):

Currently, there is no through access for ORVs from Ramp 34 to Ramp 38. Pedestrian access is open.

Annual SEASONAL village beach closure went into effect on May 15. The beach area in front of the village of Avon is closed to ORV access but remains open for pedestrian access.

Ramp 38 - Ramp 43 (6.0 miles):

The beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access for 1.3 miles south of Ramp 38. Currently there is no through access for ORVs between Ramp 38 and Ramp 43.Pedestrian access is open.

A SEASONAL closure, 2.8 miles in length, begins 1.4 miles south of Ramp 38 to 0.1 mile north of Ramp 43, and went into effect on May 16. This section is closed to ORV access but remains open to pedestrian access.

Ramp 43 - Ramp 44 (0.3 of a mile):

The beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access along the ocean shoreline to Cape Point.

Ramp 44 - Ramp 49 (3.6 miles: includes Ramp 45):

The beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access from Ramp 44 south to Cape Point and from the Cape Point "hook" west through to Ramp 45. The Interdunal Road between Ramps 44 and 45 is open. The Salt Pond Road is open.

Cape Point:

ORV and pedestrian access is open to Cape Point from Ramps 43 and 44, and south/west from the Cape Point "hook" west to Ramp 45.

A RESOURCE protection area (pre-nesting area) was established March 27, 2007. A resource protection area remains in effect in the interdunal/Salt Pond area. A variety of birds, including migratory piping plovers and newly fledged chicks continue to use this area. As of August 16, three Piping chicks were successfully fledged and were consistently seen in this area.

South Beach:

The Interdunal Road is open to ORV and pedestrian access between Ramps 44 and 45. Salt Pond Road is open. There are approximately 2 posted sea turtle nests located between Ramp 45 and Ramp 49. Continuing through the weeksof August 20 and 27, as "hatch window" dates approach, the visiting public can expect to see full beach closures in this area.

Ramp 49 - Ramp 55 (5.9 miles: includes Sandy Bay soundside parking area):

The beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access for 1.2 miles south of Ramp 49 to the boundary of the Frisco andHatteras Village closure. Pedestrian access is open to Ramp 55.

A SEASONAL closure for Frisco Village and Hatteras Village is 4.0 miles long and went into effect on May 15. The beach area in front of the villages of Frisco and Hatteras is closed to ORV access but remains open to pedestrian access.

One RESOURCE protection area (turtle nest site) is located approximately 1 mile north of Ramp 49. There is no ORV by-pass; therefore no through ORV access is available. Pedestrian access is available behind the nest closure. The nest is within the expected "hatch window" and is a full beach closure.

Ramp 55 - Hatteras Inlet (2.7 miles):

ORV and pedestrian access is open along the ocean shoreline from Ramp 55 south to 0.35 miles north of the Hatteras Inlet and "the Rip" area. The Pole Road, Cable Crossing and Spur Road are all open.

A RESOURCE protection area is located on the sound shoreline of both Isabel overwash areas. Pole Road and ocean shoreline access remains open past this area.

An ORV SAFETY CLOSURE at "the Rip" was removed on August 17, 2007 on a trial basis. The area is open but will continue to be evaluated for reliable access on both the oceanside and soundside at high tides. Erosion action and high tides make this an area of concern and constant monitoring is needed. Pedestrian access is open around the entire tip of the inlet from oceanside to soundside.

Ocracoke Island District

The Ocracoke Island District has a total of 16.5 miles of ocean shoreline. There are 16.4 miles open to pedestrians and approximately 7.6 miles are open to ORV access. ORV use is restricted by approximately 8.7 miles of SAFETY and SEASONAL closures and approximately 0.1 mile restricted by a RESOURCE protection area. The beaches of Ocracoke Island have11 posted sea turtle nests located in the 16.5 miles of ocean shoreline. Continuing through the weeks of August 20 and 27, as "hatch window" dates approach, the visiting public can expect to see some additional full beach closures on many of these beaches.

Ramp 59 - Ramp 67 (7.8 miles):

ORV and pedestrian access is open north of Ramp 59 and 1.0 mile south of Ramp 59 where a SAFETY Closure begins. There is no through ORV access from Ramp 59 to Ramp 67.Pedestrian access is open.

A SAFETY closure is 5.4 miles long, and begins 1.0 miles south of Ramp 59 to 1.2 miles north of Ramp 67. This section is open to pedestrian access but not to ORV access.

Ramp 67 - Ramp 70 (3.8 miles; includes Ramp 68) :

The beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access from Ramp 67 south for 0.3 mile. There no through access for ORVs between Ramps 67 and 70.

The SEASONAL closure was established on May 15, 2007 in front of the lifeguarded beach/campground extends from .03 mile south of Ramp 67 to 0.25 miles north of Ramp 70. This section of beach, approximately 3.1 miles in length, and closes Ramp 68 and is closed to ORV access but remains open for pedestrian access. A RESOURCE protection area exists 0.3 mile south of Ramp 67 for a turtle nest which is within the hatch window date. This full beach closure is approximately 350 feet wide.

Ramp 70 - Ramp 72 (1.8 miles) and Ramp 72 to South Ocracoke Spit (4.4 miles):

The beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access from Ramp 70 south along ocean shoreline, for approximately 0.4 of a mile where a RESOURCE shoreline protection area begins.An access corridor is open to ORV and pedestrians on the upper beach and access is open to South Point.Due to high tides and erosion from numerous northeast winds, access to South Point of Ocracoke may not be accessible at high tide.

A RESOURCE protection area (pre-nesting area) was established March 29 that encompasses interior and soundside areas of the spit. During the nesting season, there were various modifications of the RESOURCE protection area due to changes in bird activity. Ocean shoreline access is open to South Point. A variety of birds, including an American Oystercatcher chick, continue to use the soundside areas within the resource protection area.

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.



 

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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.