• 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 7, 2007

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Date: June 7, 2007
Contact: Outer Banks Group, (252) 473-2111

Weekly Up-date:

The annual seasonal closures of village beaches to ORV use were established on May 15, 2007.

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.

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

Memorial Day weekend "spot count" information:

During the recent Memorial Day weekend, it was extremely busy. For example, on Saturday, May 26, park staff counted 987 vehicles at Bodie Island (south of the Coquina Beach area), 443 vehicles between Ramps 23 and 34, 71 vehicles near Ramp 38, 426 vehicles in the Ramp 43 to Cape Point area, 504 vehicles in the Ramp 45 to 49 area, 160 vehicles from Ramp 55 south to Hatteras Inlet including the areas open to ORV access on the sound side, and 347 vehicles on Ocracoke Island. The numbers varied a little, but were similar on Sunday afternoon, May 27.

These "spot counts" reflect only the number of vehicles observed at the time of the count, rather than a cumulative or daily total. While spot counts, especially during holiday weekends are interesting, as the ORV planning and rulemaking processes move forward, more comprehensive and cumulative data on the levels of ORV use throughout the year are needed. Toward that end, the Seashore is in the process of acquiring traffic counters for each of the ORV access ramps.

 

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.

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. One pair of piping plover has been observed foraging inside this closure this week. Of the two American Oystercatcher nests in this area, one is still active, the other was lost.

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.

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 nests and scrapes of Least Terns and is approximately 0.1 mile long. There is pedestrian and ORV access in front of the RESOURCE protection area along the ocean shoreline.

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 30.5 miles open to pedestrians and approximately 20.4 miles of beach are open for ORV access. ORV use is restricted by 11.4 miles of SEASONAL and SAFETY closures. Approximately 1.4 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 1.5 miles south of Ramp 27 and for 0.7 mile north of Ramp 30. A full beach closure exists 0.7 mile north of Ramp 30 for re-nesting American Oystercatchers. There is no through ORV or pedestrian access through the RESOURCE protection closure which is 0.1 mile in length.

A RESOURCE protection area exists 0.1 mile south of Ramp 27 for re-nesting American Oystercatchers and least tern colony. The protection area is 0.2 mile in length and there is pedestrian and ORV access in front along the ocean shoreline.

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 and there is pedestrian and ORV access in front along the ocean shoreline.

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 with eggs.

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.

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 and there is pedestrian and ORV access in front along the ocean shoreline.

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 and there is pedestrian and ORV access in front along the ocean shoreline.

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. Within the SEASONAL closure, there is a RESOURCE protection area (0.3 mile buffer) for American Oystercatcher chicks and there is no pedestrian access in this protection area.

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. 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. Of the 3.6 miles of this section of beach, approximately 2.3 miles is open for ORV and pedestrian access.

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. Incubation of thetwo piping plover nests with full clutches (4 eggs) continues. The third piping plover nest with two eggs was abandoned and lost. This pair may attempt to re-nest. In addition, one of the two American Oystercatcher nests on the beach east of Ramp 45, inside the closure, hatched with two chicks. The second American Oystercatcher nest is still incubating. A least tern colony is nesting in the Salt Pond Road area.

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 a full beach closure, 600 feet in length, for American Oystercatcher chicks that hatched on June 5th.

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 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.

On May 22, approximately ½ mile northeast of Ramp 49, a shoreline closure 0.4 mile in length, was established for multiple observations of foraging piping plover. An access corridor is open to ORV and pedestrians on the upper beach.

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.

A RESOURCE protection area for nesting American Oystercatchers was established on the sound shoreline south of the Sandy Bay parking area between Frisco and Hatteras Village. On May 23, the nest was lost to predation. This soundside area remains closed to ORV and pedestrian access for possible re-nesting of American Oystercatchers that continue to be observed in this area.

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 (excluding the overwash RESOURCE area closure), 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) was established at the Isabel overwash area from the sound shoreline to the ocean dune on March 28. 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. On June 6, 2007, the oceanside boundary of this pre-nesting closure was slightly modified by 40 feet (moved to westward) to facilitate vehicle turn-around room during periods of high tide. The full beach closure is approximately 0.35 miles long and continues south/west to the inlet in the vicinity of the "Rip." Two singlepiping plovers are being observed in the Hatteras Inlet and overwash area. One American Oystercatcher nest produced chicks; the second pair of American Oystercatchers re-nested. In addition, a least tern colony is established within the closure.

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 10.6 milesare open to ORV access. ORV use is restricted by approximately 5.4 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. A shoreline beach closure immediately south of Ramp 59 which extends for 0.5 mile. There is no through ORV access from Ramp 59 to Ramp 67.Pedestrian access is open.

A RESOURCE protection area, established on April 8 at the north end of Ocracoke Island has been removed. This area reopened to ORV and pedestrian access on June 7, 2007.

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. On April 18, 2007, NPS staff discovered the first Leatherback turtle crawl and nest of the season on Ocracoke Island south of Ramp 59. A RESOURCE closure 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.

A RESOURCE protection area was established on May 10 immediately of south Ramp 59 and is 0.5 mile long along the ocean shoreline. This is a full beach closure for piping plover foraging.

A RESOURCE protection area was established on May 9 approximately 1 mile north of Ramp 67 for nesting American Oystercatchers. This RESOURCE protection area is within a SAFETY closure.

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. An American Oystercatcher nest has been located in this area.

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 4.8 miles, to the inlet. 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 encompasses an American Oystercatcher nest. Access remains open to South Point. Incubation of thepiping plover nest with full clutch (4 eggs) continues. In addition, and a least tern colony. All AMOY nest in the South Ocracoke area have been predated by mink.

A RESOURCE protection area was established for foraging piping plover along the ocean shoreline beginning approximately 0.8 mile south of Ramp 72. An access corridor is open to ORV and pedestrians on the upper beach and access is open to South Point.

 

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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