• 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 27, 2006

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Date: July 27, 2006
Contact: Outer Banks Group, (252) 473-2111

Recent News: Access to South Point on Ocracoke Island reopened on a 24-hour basis today (July 27). The last piping plover chick that had been in the South Point area is presumed lost.

Shoreline access from Cape Point to Salt Pond Road and Ramp 45 will reopen for ORV and pedestrian access on 7-28-06. A section of shoreline 0.1 of a mile long has been kept closed for foraging habitat around an ephemeral pool. ORV and pedestrian access is open around the north side of the ephemeral pool.

American Oystercatcher Research Program Scheduled: NC State University researchers Dr. Ted Simons and doctoral student Shiloh Schulte will present a program on their recent research of American oystercatchers at Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout National Seashores. The program will take place at the Hatteras Civic Center in Hatteras Village, on Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The general public is invited to attend.

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). 15.9 miles are open to pedestrians and 11.3 miles are open for ORV access. ORV use is restricted by 4.6 miles of seasonal closures in front of the Tri-villages and a life-guarded swim beach. Approximately 0.6 of a mile is closed as a full-beach resource closure and there are no ORV Safety closures in effect.

Ramp 1 - 0.6 miles South of Ramp 2 (Coquina Beach Area) A SEASONAL ORV beach closure is 1.6 miles long and includes a life-guarded swim beach, 150 feet wide. Pedestrian access is open.

0.6 miles South of Ramp 2 - Ramp 4 and to Bodie Island Spit The beach is open to 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 is located within the interior of Bodie Island Spit. Approximately 0.9 of a mile south of Ramp 4, and 0.2 of a mile long, a two-lane, pass through corridor above the high tide line was established on 7-20-06 to accommodate a Least Tern colony with approximately 200 to 300 birds and 50 nests present. No stopping or parking is permitted within the pass through. Royal, Common and Gull Billed Terns continue to forage and roost in the area. An access corridor is being maintained above the high tide line, for ORV and pedestrian access, to the southwest side of the inlet.

Villages of Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo: (north of Ramp 23 for 3 miles) A SEASONAL ORV beach closure is 3 miles long; open to pedestrian access.

Ramp 23 - Ramp 27: Beach access is open for ORV and pedestrian use for 1.4 miles south of Ramp 23, and for 2.2 miles north of Ramp 27. Currently there is no through access between Ramp 23 and 27. · A RESOURCE protection area, 1.4 miles south of Ramp 23 is for a nesting Least Tern colony. Approximately 20-25 adult-pairs were observed in various stages of nest incubations and nurturing chicks. This is a full beach closure, 0.4 of a 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 30.1 miles open to pedestrians and 18.2 miles of beach are open for ORV access. ORV use is restricted by 7.5 miles of seasonal closures and 4.4 miles of safety closures. Approximately 1.8 miles are closed due to full beach resource protection closures.

Ramp 27 - Ramp 30: (2.2 miles of shoreline) The beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access south of Ramp 27 for 0.3 miles and from Ramp 30 north for 1.4 miles. Currently there is no through access between Ramp 27 and Ramp 30. · A RESOURCE protection area is located 0.3 miles south of Ramp 27 for a nesting Least Tern colony. Approximately 60 pair of Least Terns were observed in various stages of nest incubations and nurturing chicks. Some Royal Terns were observed foraging in the area. This is a full beach closure area, 0.5 of a mile long.

Ramp 30 - Ramp 34: The beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access for 2.8 miles south of Ramp 30 and for 0.5 of a mile north of Ramp 34. Currently there is no through access between Ramp 30 and Ramp 34. · An ORV SAFETY closure is 0.2 miles long beginning 2.8 miles south of Ramp 30 to 3.0 miles south of Ramp 30. · A RESOURCE protection area is located 0.5 miles north of Ramp 34 for a Least Tern colony. Approximately 20 pair of Least Terns were observed including 12 incubating nests and several nurturing chicks. This is a full beach closure, 0.2 of a mile long.

Ramp 34 - Ramp 38: A SEASONAL ORV closure in front of Avon Village beachfront is a 3.5 miles long. The beach is open to pedestrian access. ORV access is open for 0.5 miles south of Ramp 34.

Ramp 38 - Ramp 43: The beach is open to ORV access for 0.8 of a mile south of Ramp 38.Currently there is no through ORV access between Ramp 38 and Ramp 43. Pedestrian access is open, except within the resource closure noted below: · An ORV SAFETY closure is 4.2 miles long, beginning 0.8 of a mile south of Ramp 38 to Ramp 43, due to very narrow beaches and hurricane impacted areas. · A RESOURCE protection area is located 1.3 miles south of Ramp 38 for a nesting Least Tern colony. Recent observations include 8 adults with 2 chicks. The closure is 0.2 of a mile long and 100 feet wide. Pedestrian access is open along the shoreline.

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 for 3.1 miles, between Ramp 44 and south of Cape Point to 0.8 of a mile south of Ramp 45, via the ocean shoreline. The Interdunal Road, Salt Pond Road and Ramp 45 are open.

Cape Point: · A RESOURCE protection area begins just south of Ramp 44, encompassing a colony of Colonial waterbirds. Recent observations include 25-30 Least Terns, 20 Common and 20 Royal Terns, and 10 Common Terns throughout the area closure. Numerous birds are foraging, roosting and defending territory. Visitors in the area are asked to reduce their vehicle speed to 10 mph and keep all dogs on a leash of six feet or less. Shoreline access is open around this closure, to Cape Point and to 0.8 of a mile south of Ramp 45. · A RESOURCE protection area begins approximately 0.25 of a mile south of Cape Point for an active colonial waterbird colony. The full beach closure 0.5 of a mile south of Cape Point is being removed and shoreline access from Cape Point to Salt Pond Road and Ramp 45 will reopen for ORV and pedestrian access on 7-28-06. A section of shoreline 0.1 of a mile long has been kept closed for foraging habitat around an ephemeral pool. ORV and pedestrian access is open around the north side of the ephemeral pool.

South Beach: The Interdunal Road, Salt Pond Rd. and Ramp 45 are open to access Cape Point and to 0.8 of a mile south of Ramp 45. · A RESOURCE protection area within the interior of South Beach, between Salt Pond Rd. and Ramp 45, is approximately 0.2 of a mile long, for a Least Tern colony. A 50 foot ORV and pedestrian access corridor is being maintained along the shoreline. · A RESOURCE protection area begins 0.8 of a mile south of Ramp 45 for an active Least Tern colony in various stages of nest incubations and nurturing chicks. Recent observations include 25 Least Terns with 2 nests. This is a full beach closure, approximately 0.4 of a mile long. · ORV and pedestrian access is open from 1.2 miles south of Ramp 45 through to Ramp 49 for approximately 1.9 miles. Note: this area is currently accessible from Ramp 49 but not from Ramp 45.

Ramp 49 - Ramp 55: The beach is open to ORV access for 1.1 miles south of Ramp 49 to where the Hatteras Village closure begins. Pedestrian access is open to Ramp 55. Currently there is no through ORV access between Ramp 49 and Ramp 55. · A SEASONAL ORV beach closure at Hatteras Village is 4.0 miles long.

Ramp 55 - Hatteras Inlet: A Pedestrian and ORV access is open along portions of the ocean shoreline, the Pole Road, and the Cable Crossing. Ocean shoreline ORV and pedestrian access is open from Ramp 55 south for 2.5 miles, to within 0.6 mile of the inlet. A resource protection closure at that point restricts all access along ocean shoreline to the south. Soundside ORV and pedestrian access is open from Cable Crossing to the “Rip” area at the spit. Pedestrian access is open from the Rip, north along the inlet and ocean shoreline for approximately 1100 feet, but the high tide extends to the dune system precluding safe vehicle access. · The sections of the Pole Road that were closed through the three overwash areas reopened on 7-21-06. Resource closures have been established along the sound shoreline at the three overwash sites. · A RESOURCE protection area is located approximately 2.5 miles south of Ramp 55 due to a very active Least Tern colony. Recent observations include 40-50 Least Tern adults, with 11 incubating nests and several chicks on the ground. Also 10 Black Skimmers were observed with 2 incubating nests in this area. The closure starts just south of the last Pole Road exit and extends south to the inlet. This is a full shoreline closure, 0.6 of a mile long. NPS will continue to monitor bird activity and reevaluate access possibilities at this site. The Pole Road and Cable Crossing soundside access is open.

Ocracoke Island District The Ocracoke Island District has a total of 16.3 miles of ocean shoreline. 16.2 miles are open to pedestrian use and approximately 8.1 miles are open to ORV use. ORV use is restricted by a 2.9 mile seasonal beach closure and 5.2 miles of unsafe driving conditions. A full beach turtle nest closure is located just north of Ramp 72.

Ramp 59 - Ramp 67: (7.6 miles of shoreline) There is no through ORV access between these two ramps. Pedestrian access is open. · ORV and pedestrian access is open for 0.5 of a mile north of Ramp 59 to the north Ocracoke Spit. · An ORV SAFETY closure is 5.2 miles long, and begins 1.0 miles south of Ramp 59 to 1.4 miles north of Ramp 67. Pedestrian access is open.

Ramp 67 - Ramp 70: (3.4 miles of shoreline) There is no through ORV access between these two ramps. Pedestrian access is open. · A SEASONAL ORV beach closure for Ocracoke Island is 2.9 miles long. The closure is 0.25 miles south of Ramp 67 to 0.25 miles north of Ramp 70. Pedestrian access is open. · A RESOURCE protection area is located 1.7 miles north of Ramp 70. The closure is 150 feet by 30 feet for least tern colony. Shoreline access is open for pedestrians.

Ramp 70 - Ramp 72 and to South Ocracoke Spit: An ORV and pedestrian access is open from Ramp 72 south along ocean shoreline, for approximately 4.8 miles, to the inlet. A full beach turtle closure is located just north of Ramp 72 precluding through access between Ramp 70 and Ramp 72. · A RESOURCE protection area located 0.8 of a mile south of Ramp 72 has been reduced to an interior and sound shoreline closure and 24-hour access to the inlet is reopened. On 7-21-06 a two-lane pass-through corridor had been implemented to allow daytime access to the point from 8:00 a.m. to 7 p.m. to accommodate a piping plover chick in the area. A full beach closure was imposed on 7-23-06 when monitors could no longer locate the chick after a torrential rain storm. The full beach closure was cancelled on 7-26-06, the night closure was cancelled on 7-27-06, and the chick is presumed lost.

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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