• 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 June 15, 2006

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Date: June 15, 2006
Contact: Outer Banks Group, (252) 473-2111

Latest News: The piping plover nest with 4 eggs at South Beach has hatched. The chicks are mobile and the exact location and status are unconfirmed as of 8:30 a.m. on June 15, 2006.

Interpretive Program Scheduled: Cape Hatteras National Seashore will have a park ranger at the Cape Point beach closure to provide informal interpretive talks to the public. Learn about the Piping Plover, a bird species protected under the Endangered Species Act, the American Oystercatcher, terns, skimmers, and the abundant bird life and their habitat. The ranger will be located at the Cape Point closure: Saturday mornings from 8:00am to 11:00am and Thursday afternoons from 3:00pm to 5:00pm. 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). Approximately 0.0 miles of beach are closed for full beach resource closures in the Bodie Island District. Approximately 0.0 miles of beach are closed for ORV safety closures. Approximately 1.6 miles of beach are closed seasonally to ORV use but remain open for pedestrian use. Ramp 1- 0.6 miles South of Ramp 2 (Coquina Beach Area) Access status: Pedestrian access only. Area falls under seasonal ORV closure. 0.6 miles South of Ramp 2 to Bodie Island Spit (including Ramp 4): Access status: Through access on the beach from Ramp 2 to Ramp 4. An ORV and pedestrian access corridor is open along the ocean shoreline to inlet sound side near Herbert Bonner (Oregon Inlet) Bridge. Some areas may experience access restrictions due to high tides or winds. · Resource protection area is in the interior of Bodie Island Spit, south of Ramp 4. Plovers have been observed foraging in the area and displaying acts of territorial protection. Least Terns arriving back at Oregon Inlet. Buffer zone area 2 miles south of first resource closure sign is for the protection of an American Oystercatcher nest. Villages of Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo: Access status: Beach in front of villages is pedestrian access only. Area falls under seasonal ORV closure.

Ramp 23-Ramp 27: Access status: Through access from Ramp 23 to Ramp 27. Beach is open for ORV and pedestrian use. · 1.4 miles south of Ramp 23: Resource protection area for Colonial Waterbirds (Least, Royal and Gull Billed Terns), which are nesting. Closure is 0.4 miles long and runs to dunes line. Over 100 mating pairs are present in the enclosure.

Hatteras Island District (Ramp 27 South to Hatteras Inlet) The Hatteras District has a total distance of 31.9 miles of ocean shoreline. Approximately 16.9 miles of beach are open for ORV access. Approximately 11.9 miles of beach are closed to ORV use but remain open for pedestrian use, including 7.5 miles of seasonal closures and 4.4 of ORV safety closures. Approximately 3.1 miles of beach are closed for full beach resource closures.

Ramp 27-Ramp 30: Access status: Beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access south of Ramp 27 for 0.3 miles. No through access to Ramp 30. · Resource protection area for recently hatched American Oystercatcher chicks and nesting Colonial Waterbirds, 0.3 miles south of Ramp 27. This is a full beach closure area. The area is 0.2 miles long. · Resource protection area for American Oystercatcher chicks, 1.4 miles south of Ramp 27. This is a full beach closure area. The area is 0.3 miles long.

Ramp 30-Ramp 34: Access status: Beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access south of Ramp 30 to 1.0 mile north of Ramp 34. No through ORV access to Ramp 34. · Safety closure is 0.2 miles long beginning 1.0 mile south of Ramp 30 to 0.8 miles south of Ramp 30. ORV access is open to 0.8 miles north of Ramp 34. · American Oystercatcher nest buffer begins 1.05 miles north of Ramp 34. A pedestrian and ORV access corridor above the high tide line will be maintained at this time. · Least Tern colony is 0.5 miles north of Ramp 34. Pedestrian and ORV access is maintained at this time.

Ramp 34-Ramp 38: Access status: The Avon Village beachfront is a 3.5 mile seasonal ORV closure. This beach is open to pedestrian access only. ORV access is open 0.5 miles south of Ramp34. Ramp 38 to Ramp 43: Access status: Beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access for 0.8 of a mile south of Ramp 38. No through ORV access to next ramp. ORV safety closure is 4.2 miles long, beginning 0.8 of a mile south of Ramp 38 to Ramp 43. 1.2 miles south of Ramp 38, American Oystercatcher protection area is 400 feet by 100 feet and includes roadside, dune, and beach side. Shoreline is open to pedestrian use. Due to the Oystercatcher chick moving north, this closure was expanded 0.1 mile north and reduced by 0.1 mile on the south end of closure. · Resource protection area starting 0.5 miles north of Buxton Village is approximately 0.6 mile long and includes roadside, dune, and beach side. The shoreline is open to pedestrian use. American Oystercatchers and Least Terns use this area for nesting, breeding and foraging. American Oystercatcher chicks are in the area. Ramp 43-Ramp 44: · Beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access along the ocean shoreline to Cape Point. Cape Point Interdunal Road System: · The interdunal road system is closed at Ramp 44 because this route leads into the South Beach closure; closure is to protect the recent hatching of Piping Plover chicks. Colonial Waterbird nests are also in the area.

Ramp 44-Ramp 49: · ORV and pedestrian access is open between Ramp 44 and Cape Point via ocean beach and the by-pass route, for 1.0 miles. Resource closure includes a 60 foot bump out for a Tern colony. Bump out is 0.15 mile long. Visitors in the area are asked to reduce vehicle speed to 10 mph and keep all dogs on a leash of six feet or less. · Resource closure includes Piping Plover chicks, Least and Common Terns and Black Skimmers. All birds are foraging, roosting, mating, nesting, and defending territory. Approximately 175 birds are in the colony. · Approximately 0.25 of a mile south/west of Cape Point, the shoreline is closed to protect Piping Plover chicks. A third pair of Piping Plover has been observed in the area.

South Beach: · Access status: ORV and Pedestrian access is open north of Ramp 49 for approximately 1.9 miles. · Piping Plover American Oystercatcher chicks and Colonial Waterbird nests are within resource protection areas on South Beach. Due to the mobility of chicks, the closure was expanded south to provide adequate protection. Approximately 2 miles of ocean shoreline south/west of Cape Point to South Beach is closed for resource protection. Of the four American Oystercatcher chicks in the area, two are approx. 25 days old and two are approx. 28 days old. In the Least Tern colony sixteen nests and 10 chicks were recently observed.

Ramp 49- Ramp 55 Access status: Beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access for 2 miles south of Ramp 49. Pedestrian access is open to Ramp 55. No through ORV access to next ramp. · A seasonal beachfront closure at Hatteras Village is 4.0 miles long, closed to ORV use. · 1.3 miles south of Frisco Pier is a Least Tern colony. Pedestrian shoreline access is open. A minimum of 30 feet pedestrian shoreline access corridor will be maintained at this time.

Ramp 55 - Hatteras Inlet: Access status: Pedestrian and ORV access is open along the 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 form the Rip north along inlet and ocean shoreline for approximately 500 feet. · A resource protection area is established approximately 0.5 mile south of Ramp 55. Closure is reduced to upper beach and inter-dunal area for American Oystercatcher re-nesting attempt. Shoreline access around closure is open. · A resource protection area is established approximately 0.6 mile south of Ramp 55. Recent American Oystercatcher scrapings have been observed as well as Piping Plover breeding activity; a pedestrian and ORV shoreline access corridor is being maintained at this time. · A resource protection area is established approximately 0.8 miles south of Ramp 55. Monitoring enclosure for American Oystercatcher re-nesting behavior. Shoreline access around closure and the by-pass route to Pole Road is open. · One resource protection area approximately 2.5 miles south of Ramp 55 is a full ocean shoreline closure for American Oystercatcher chicks. One brood is 29 days old and another 3-egg nest is currently hatching. Full beach closure starts just south of the last Pole Road exit and extends south to the inlet. Pole Road and Cable Crossing soundside access remains open at this time.

Ocracoke Island District (all of Ocracoke Island excluding Ocracoke Village) Ocracoke Island has a total of 15.9 miles of ocean shoreline. Approximately 6.9 miles are open to ORV and pedestrian use. Approximately 3.5 miles are seasonally closed to ORV use and remain open to pedestrian use. Approximately 5.5 miles are closed due to unsafe access for ORV but open to pedestrians. 0.2 miles of resource protection closures are located within the safety and seasonal closures.

Ramp 59- Ramp 67: Access status: Pedestrian access is open along the ocean shoreline. No through ORV access to next ramp. · A 5.5 mile ORV safety closure begins 0.75 mile south of Ramp 59 to 0.75 miles north of Ramp 67, closed to ORV use. Pedestrian access is permitted except in resource protection areas. · Resource protection area is 0.9 miles north of Ramp 67. The area is for protection of American Oystercatcher chicks. Full beach closure in effect for 0.2 mile of shoreline. · Resource protection area 3.2 miles southwest of Ramp 59 for American Oystercatcher. A reduced width shoreline access corridor is open. · Resource protection area 2.4 miles NE of Ramp 67 for American Oystercatcher. Shoreline access is open.

Ramp 67-Ramp 70: Access status: The Ocracoke Village seasonal ORV closure is 3.5 miles long. The closure is 0.25 miles south of Ramp 67 to 0.25 miles north of Ramp 70. Pedestrian access is open on the ocean side of protection area. · Resource protection area is 1.5 miles north of Ramp 70. The closure is approximately 600 ft. long by 100 ft. wide. This area is for a re-nesting attempt for an American Oystercatcher nest that was lost. A 30-foot pedestrian access corridor above the high tide line will be maintained at this time. · Resource protection area 1.7 miles north of Ramp 70. Closure is 150 feet by 30 feet for least tern colony. Shoreline access is open.

Ramp 70- Ramp 72 (South Point Road): Access status: ORV and pedestrian access is open from Ramp 70 south along ocean shoreline, for approximately 4.8 miles, to the inlet. · A pre-nesting closure protects breeding and foraging habitat for Piping Plovers. American Oystercatchers are also using the area. Plovers have been observed foraging at the tideline. Access corridor follows the ocean shoreline to the inlet.

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 dogs.

Did You Know?

Sea Whip, though it looks like a plant, is actually whole colony of animals.

A piece of sea whip that washes up on the beach at Cape Hatteras National Seashore is not a plant, but the skeleton of a whole colony of animals. A tiny animal lived in each hole on the yellow, orange or purple stems. It had a mouth, a stomach and eight tentacles to catch food.