• 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 July 12, 2007

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Date: July 12, 2007
Contact: Outer Banks Group, (252) 473-2111

Weekly Up-date:

National Seashore beaches and inlets experience varying degrees of erosion and notable high tides. Travel in many areas 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 on everyone’s part. 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).16.4 miles are open to pedestrians and 14.8 miles are open for ORV access.

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 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. As of July 12, a 3-egg piping plover nest within the protection area has entered its hatching "window" (time period after the eggs were laid and they are likely to hatch.) NPS will provide an update on access status when the eggs hatch.

A RESOURCE protection area is established on Green Island for American Oystercatcher and Least Tern nests/colony. The island is closed to landing while nesting activity is in progress. Several closure violations were noted over the past week.

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 between Ramp 23 to Ramp 27. There is no through ORV or pedestrian access through the RESOURCE protection closure which is 0.2 mile in length located just north of Ramp 27.

A RESOURCE protection area exists 4.3 miles south of Ramp 23 (or 0.1 mile north of Ramp 27) for re-nesting American Oystercatchers and Least Tern nests and hatchlings. This full beach closure is approximately 0.2 mile long.

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 28.9 miles open to pedestrians and approximately 13.5 miles of beach are open for ORV access. ORV use is restricted by 11.4 miles of SEASONAL and SAFETY closures. Approximately 3.0 miles are closed due to full beach RESOURCE protection closures.

Ramp 27 - Ramp 30 (2.2 miles):

Beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access along the ocean shoreline for 0.1 mile south of Ramp 27 and for 0.7 mile north of Ramp 30. Full beach closures exist 0.1 mile south of Ramp 27 and 0.7 mile north of Ramp 30. There is no through ORV or pedestrian access through the RESOURCE protection closures. As of July 12, all three RESOURCE protection areas have hatchlings or fledgings and a few remaining active nests of American Oystercatchers or Least Terns.

A RESOURCE protection area exists 0.1 mile south of Ramp 27 for re-nesting American Oystercatchers and a least tern colony. The protection area is 0.2 mile in length.

A RESOURCE protection area exists 0.3 mile south of Ramp 27 for re-nesting American Oystercatchers. The protection area is 0.1 mile in length.

A RESOURCE protection area exists north of Ramp 30 for American Oystercatchers. This pairre-nested 1.1 miles south of Ramp 27 or 0.7 mile north of Ramp 30. Due to the narrow width of the beach, this is a full beach closure with no ORV or pedestrian access through this 0.1 mile length closure. In addition, there is a least tern colony.

Ramp 30 - Ramp 34 (4.3 miles):

Beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access along the ocean shoreline for 3.5 miles between Ramp 30 and Ramp 34. As of July 12, the two RESOURCE protection areas have hatchlings or fledgings and a few remaining active nests of American Oystercatchers or Least Terns.

A RESOURCE protection area exists 3.5 miles south of Ramp 30 (or 0.7 miles north of Ramp 34) for nesting American Oystercatchers and a least tern colony. The protection area is 0.1 mile in length.

A RESOURCE protection area exists 4.1 miles south of Ramp 30 (or 0.1 mile north of Ramp 34) for nesting American Oystercatcher and least tern colony. The protection area is 0.1 mile in length.

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 end of the closure south/west for approximately0.1 mile, where there is full beach closure due to a Resource protection area. The full beach closure extends to Ramp 45 and is 1.2 miles in length. The Interdunal Road between Ramps 44 and 45 is open. Salt Pond Road is closed due to a Resource protection area. There is currently no through access between Ramp 45 and Ramp 49.

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. The total closure distance is 1.2 miles. The first Piping Plover nest (4-eggs) hatched andas of early morning on July 12, one chick still survives and is beginning to take short, experimental flights. The second Piping Plover nest (3-eggs) hatched and no chicks survived. The third Piping Plover nest (currently 3-eggs) began hatching on July 4; as of early July 12, one chick survives. A fourth Piping Plover (3-eggs) nest within an exclosure is still incubating. As of July 12, an active least tern colony in the Salt Pond Road area has hatchlings and fledgings.

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). There is currently no through access between Ramps 45 and 49 due to two full beach closures, each approximately 600 feet in length, for American Oystercatcher chicks and a least tern colony.

A RESOURCE protection area (pre-nesting area), along the upper beach, was established in March from Ramp 45 to the west. The total closure distance was 1.4 miles along the upper beach. On June 5, 2007, American Oystercatcher chicks hatched producing three chicks and a full beach closure, 600 feet in length, was implemented approximately 0.9 mile west of Ramp 45 or 2.3 miles east of Ramp 49. There is no ORV or pedestrian access through the 600 feet full beach closure. As of July 12, there are three American Oystercatchers chicks and Least Tern hatchlings/fledgings and a few remaining active nests in this closure.

A RESOURCE protection area, 1.8 miles north of Ramp 49, was established on June 21, 2007 for Least Tern colony hatchlings. The closure is 0.3 mile in length and is a full beach closure with no ORV or pedestrian access. As of July 12, there are hatchlings and fledgings and a few remaining active Least Tern nests in this closure.

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

The beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access for 1.1 miles south of Ramp 49 to the boundary of the Frisco andHatteras Village closure. Pedestrian access is open to Ramp 55. There is no through ORV access between Ramp 49 and 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.

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. The ocean shoreline RESOURCE protection area, adjacent to the overwash, was removed on May 9, 2007.

A RESOURCE protection area (pre-nesting area) has been modified and Pole Road has reopened in the Isabel overwash area from the sound shoreline to the ocean dune. Ocean shoreline access remains open past this area.

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." The American Oystercatcher chick has fledged in the Hatteras Inlet area. On June 30, oceanside ORV access was increased by more than 400 hundred feet toward the Rip to a narrow section of beach north of the Rip. Pedestrian access is open around the entire tip of the inlet from oceanside to soundside. The area continues to be evaluated for re-opening to ORV use as soon as reliable access on the oceanside at high tide permits safe travel through to the soundside. Preparations are underway for installation of adequate signage.

Ocracoke Island District

The Ocracoke Island District has a total of 16.5 miles of ocean shoreline. There are 16.2miles open to pedestrians and approximately 7.8 milesare open to ORV access. ORV use is restricted by approximately 8.7 miles of SAFETY and SEASONAL closures and approximately 0.5 mile is restricted by a RESOURCE protection area.

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. A RESOURCE closure for a leatherback turtle nest and is located within this SAFETY closure area. As of June 7, 2007, the nest closure was expanded to 350’ and is marked as a full beach closure. The nest is within the "hatch date" window. Monitoring efforts have been increased as the "hatch date" approaches.

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

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

A RESOURCE protection area, approx. 0.5 mile long, was established for an American Oystercatcher nest between Ramp 68 and 70, which was subsequently lost. As of July 12, the pair of American Oystercatcher are still incubating eggs.

The SEASONAL closure was established on May 15, 2007 in front of the lifeguarded beach/campground extends from .05 mile south of Ramp 67 to 0.25 miles north of Ramp 70. This section of beach, approximately 3.3 miles in length, and closes Ramp 68 an d is closed to ORV access but remains open for pedestrian access.

Ramp 70 - Ramp 72 (1.8 miles) and Ramp 72 to South Ocracoke Spit (4.6 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. 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 currently encompasses an American Oystercatcher nest. As of July 2, all four piping plover chicks were lost.On Monday, July 9, a full beach closure was implemented for an American Oystercatcher chick. The closure remained in effect on Tuesday, July 10 and then a "nighttime only closure" was in effect for Wed., July 11. The chick has since moved to the soundside to forage and ocean shoreline access has re-opened to South Point. The situation will continue to be evaluated on a daily basis.

A RESOURCE protection area was established for foraging piping plover along the ocean shoreline beginning approximately 0.8 mile south of Ramp 72.

 

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?

This artist's rendering shows the U.S.S. Monitor foundering in a storm off of Cape Hatteras in December 1862.

The U.S.S. Monitor sank off Cape Hatteras during a storm in December 1862. The wreck's location was a mystery until 1973 when a research vessel found the ship 16 miles off the cape in 230 feet of water. In 1975, the Monitor was named the nation’s first National Marine Sanctuary.