National Park Service Beach Access Report for June 22, 2006
Contact: Outer Banks Group, (252) 473-2111
Latest News: Of the three Piping Plover nests in the Cape Point/South Beach area, nest #1 has 3 chicks that are approximately 22 days old now and remain in the vicinity of the nest site. Nest #2 (4 eggs) hatched on or around June 13 just before the Alberto storm came through the area. The chicks have never been located despite extensive surveying effort. The adults have been seen individually and together since the eggs hatched. At this point the chicks are presumed lost. A Piping Plover scrape was recently observed east of this nest site and we will continue to monitor the area for re-nesting attempts. Nest #3 is a 3-egg nest which is currently being incubated.
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 south end of 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). 16.1 miles are open to pedestrians and 11.5 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 0.4 miles are closed for full beach resource closures and no ORV Safety closures are in effect.
Ramp 1 - 0.6 miles South of Ramp 2 (Coquina Beach Area) A SEASONAL ORV beach closure, 1.6 miles long, includes a life-guarded swim beach. Pedestrian access is open.
0.6 miles South of Ramp 2 to Bodie Island Spit (including Ramp 4): 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. • ?RESOURCE protection area is located within the interior of Bodie Island Spit. A 90 foot bump-out at the south end of the closure was implemented to accommodate Piping Plover scrapings, foraging and displays of territorial protection. • The Buffer zone area 0.2 miles south of first resource closure sign is for the protection of an American Oystercatcher nest which is due to hatch at any time now. Villages of Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo: (The area 3 miles north of Ramp 23) 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 from 1.8 miles south of Ramp 23 to 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, with over 100 pairs present. This is a full beach closure, 0.4 miles long, for newly hatched (6/19/06) Least Tern chicks. Royal and Gull Billed Terns also forage in the area.
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 28.3 miles open to pedestrians and 16.4 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 3.6 miles are closed for full beach resource closures
Ramp 27-Ramp 30: The beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access south of Ramp 27 for 0.3 miles and from Ramp 30 north for 1.3 miles. Currently there is no through access between Ramp 27 and Ramp 30. • A RESOURCE protection area, 0.3 miles south of Ramp 27, is for two American Oystercatcher chicks, 8 days old. This is a full beach closure area. The area is 0.5 miles long. Colonial Waterbirds are also nesting in the area. • A RESOURCE protection area, 1.4 miles south of Ramp 27 is for an American Oystercatcher chick which is 38 days old and very close to fledging. This is a full beach closure area. The area is 0.3 miles long.
Ramp 30-Ramp 34: The beach is open for pedestrian and ORV access, except for these locations: • An ORV 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 1.05 miles north of Ramp 34. • A RESOURCE protection area for newly hatched American Oystercatcher chicks (6/19/06) begins 1.05 miles north of Ramp 34. This has been extended to a full beach closure area and the area is 0.2 miles long. • A RESOURCE protection area for a Least Tern colony is 0.5 miles north of Ramp 34. Pedestrian and ORV beach access is open
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 to Ramp 43: The 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. Pedestrian access is open except as 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. Pedestrian access is permitted except in resource closures. • A RESOURCE protection area, 1.2 miles south of Ramp 38, is an American Oystercatcher closure, 400 feet by 100 feet and includes roadside, dune and upper beach. 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. • A RESOURCE protection area beginning 0.5 miles north of Buxton Village is approximately 0.6 mile long and includes roadside, dune and upper beach. 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: •??????The 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, in effect 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 for 1.4 miles, between Ramp 44 and Cape Point via ocean beach and the by-pass route. • A RESOURCE protection area begins just south of Ramp 44 and includes a 60 foot bump out for a Tern colony. 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. This closure includes Least and Common Terns and Black Skimmers. All birds are foraging, roosting, mating, nesting, and defending territory. Approximately 60 birds are in the colony, including recent observations of 8 Least Tern and 8 Common Tern nests, and 2 Least Tern chicks. • A RESOURCE protection area begins approximately 0.25 of a mile south/west of Cape Point and continues into South Beach for approximately 2 miles. The shoreline is closed to protect Piping Plover chicks, American Oystercatcher chicks and Colonial Waterbird nests from west of Cape Point to South Beach. Of three Piping Plover nests, #1 has 3 chicks on the ground approximately 22 days old; #2 hatched concurrently with the Alberto storm. The chicks have never been located and are presumed lost; and #3 is a 3-egg nest which is still incubating. Another American Oystercatcher chick in the South Beach area was lost to predation and the remaining two chicks are approximately 33 days old. • ORV and pedestrian access is open north of Ramp 49 for approximately 1.9 miles.
Ramp 49- Ramp 55 The 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 ORV beach closure at Hatteras Village is 4.0 miles long. • 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: A 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 from 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 limited to upper beach and inter-dunal area for American Oystercatcher re-nesting attempt. Shoreline access around the 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 area for American Oystercatcher re-nesting behavior. Shoreline access around closure and the by-pass route to Pole Road is open. • A RESOURCE protection area approximately 2.5 miles south of Ramp 55 is a full shoreline closure for American Oystercatcher chicks. One chick is 36 days old. A second nest hatched, one chick was lost and one chick is 7 days old. Other recent observations include 3 Least Tern nests, 2 Least Tern chicks, 1 Common Tern chick, 1 Black Skimmer nest and some Common Terns. The closure starts just south of the last Pole Road exit and extends south to the inlet. Pole Road and Cable Crossing soundside access is open. • A RESOURCE protection area is located on the soundside, at the U.S. Coast Guard station near the ferry basin, for an American Oystercatcher nest. A 300 foot, full-beach closure begins north of the access road, between the shoreline and the chain link fence. ORV and pedestrian access remain open along the access road and along the shoreline to the south.
Ocracoke Island District (all of Ocracoke Island excluding Ocracoke Village) The Ocracoke Island has a total of 15.9 miles of ocean shoreline. Approximately 15.6 miles are open to pedestrian use and 6.6 miles are open to ORV use. ORV use is restricted by a 3.5 mile seasonal beach closure and 5.5 miles of unsafe driving conditions. 0.5 miles of full beach resource closures are located within the ORV safety closures.
Ramp 59- Ramp 67: No through ORV access to next ramp. • An ORV SAFETY closure 5.5 mile long begins 0.75 mile south of Ramp 59 to 0.75 miles north of Ramp 67. Pedestrian access is permitted except in resource closures. • A RESOURCE protection area is located 3.2 miles south of Ramp 59 for the American Oystercatcher. A reduced width shoreline access corridor is open. • A RESOURCE protection area is located 1.4 miles north of Ramp 67, for American Oystercatcher chicks that are approximately 5 days old. A full beach closure is in effect for 0.1 of a mile. • A RESOURCE protection area is located 0.7 miles north of Ramp 67, for 2 American Oystercatcher chicks, approximately 35 days old. A full beach closure is in effect for 0.4 miles.
Ramp 67-Ramp 70: • A SEASONAL beach closure for Ocracoke Village 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. •?????RESOURCE protection area is located 1.5 miles north of Ramp 70. The closure is approximately 600 ft. long by 100 ft. wide, and is for a re-nesting attempt for an American Oystercatcher nest that was lost. A 30-foot pedestrian access corridor is open above the high tide line. • 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.
Ramp 70- Ramp 72 (South Point Road): An ORV and pedestrian access is open from Ramp 70 south along ocean shoreline, for approximately 4.8 miles, to the inlet. • A RESOURCE 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?
In the 1700s, Ocracoke Inlet was one of the busiest inlets in the East. It was one of the few navigable waterways for ships accessing inland ports such as Elizabeth City, Edenton or New Bern. It was here that Blackbeard the pirate found the inlet's heavy shipping traffic ripe for easy pickings.