• 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 September 18 2008

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Date: September 18, 2008
Contact: Outer Banks Group, 252-473-2111 ext 148

*Bold, blue print = updated news.

**Bold, dark red print = projected sea turtle nest closures

**Report resource protection area violations to:

Dare Central Communications Center: 252-473-3444

Hyde County Dispatch: 252-928-3171

Ocracoke Sheriff Dept: 252-928-7301

 

The 2008 bird breeding season has concluded and the sea turtle nesting season is tapering off as well. As of September 18th, NPS staff have documented 113 sea turtle nests on national seashore beaches during the 2008 season, of which, 81 nests have hatched or been removed.

 

Beginning on September 15th, visitors will find a few remaining full beach turtle closures throughout the Park. Under the terms of the Consent Decree, all sea turtle nest that have reached their "hatch window" of day 50 will be protected with a full beach closure (dunes to surf) until that particular nest hatches. Nests that reach 50 days of incubation after September 15th will also be protected by full beach closures. There will be no ORV access in front or behind these nests unless otherwise posted. These closures will apply to ORV beaches and Village beaches that are scheduled to be opened to driving. These closures were deemed necessary to protect emerging hatchlings from the lighting effects of night-time driving, which re-opens on September 16th.

As of September 16th, in areas open to ORV use, night driving is allowed with a night driving permit. There is no cost or limit to the permit and permits are available online at www.nps.gov/caha, at all park Visitor Centers and Campgrounds, Outer Banks Visitor Bureau Visitor Centers, and local tackle shops. Night beach driving permits will be required for off-road vehicle use (signed/dated by the driver and displayed in the windshield of the vehicle) on all Cape Hatteras National Seashore ocean beaches between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. from September 16 to November 15. For further information, please call (252) 473-2111 ext. 148.

 

Google Earth maps are available at:

www.nps.gov/caha

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. Pets must be physically restrained at all times on a leash no greater than 6 feet on all National Seashore beaches.

The marked boundaries found in the field are the actual, legal boundaries of the closed areas and supersede any information in this report. Park visitors MUST pay close attention to and comply with resource protection area boundaries as found in the field. All resource protection areas are clearly marked with carsonite posts, signs, string, wooden poles or other markers.

Bodie Island (Coquina Beach to Oregon Inlet)

There are approximately 5.7 miles of ocean shoreline from Ramp 1 to Oregon Inlet. Approximately 5.7miles are open to pedestrian access. Approximately 4.3 miles are open to ORV access on Bodie Island and there are no milesclosed to access due to RESOURCE PROTECTION (seas turtle nest) area.

Ramp 1 – Ramp 2 (Coquina Beach Area) – 1.4 miles

The beach is open for pedestrian access but no ORV access. Annual seasonal closures went into effect on May 15, 2008 and extend from Ramp 1 to 0.1 of mile south of Ramp 2.

Ramp 2 – Ramp 4 to Bodie Island Spit – 4.2 miles

North of Ramp 4, the beach is open for ORV access for 2.2 miles and open for pedestrian access approximately 3.5 miles. South of Ramp 4 the beach is open for ORV access 2.1 miles and open for pedestrian access 2.2 miles.

The RESOURCE protection (prenesting) area has been reduced to a winter resource closure for non-breeding/wintering birds on August 26, 2008. It includes interior areas of the spit and portions of the "pond" shoreline. The resource closure is marked with red carsonite posts as closed to all access. The ORV corridor is marked with brown carsonite posts. Pedestrian access is permitted, but pets are prohibited outside of the ORV corridor at this site. A few hundred feet of the sound shoreline adjacent to the Bonner Bridge is closed to ORVs, but open to pedestrians and boat landings, based on current shoreline conditions.

Hatteras Island (South Boundary of PINWR south to Hatteras Inlet)

Hatteras Island has a total distance of 42.9 miles of ocean shoreline. Approximately 42.9 miles of ocean shoreline are open to pedestrian access. Approximately 27 miles are open for ORV access on Hatteras Island. In addition to the annual seasonal ORV closures, ORV use is restricted by 6.3 miles of SAFETY closures. Approximately 0.9 miles are closed to all access due to RESOURCE PROTECTION areas. The week of September 21st, as sea turtle nest "hatch window" dates approach, the visiting public can expect to see additional full beach closures on Hatteras Island.

Villages of Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo: (north of Ramp 23 for 3 miles to Pea Island NWR boundary)

The beach areas in front of the villages of Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo are open to ORV and pedestrian access.

 

Ramp 23 – Ramp 27: (4.3 miles)

The beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access between Ramp 23 and Ramp 27 except where sea turtle nests protection areas exist.

A RESOURCE protection area (sea turtle nest site) is located approximately 2.2 miles north of Ramp 23. This area will be expanded on September 4. Pedestrian access is available behind the next closure outside of the signed protection area. The turtle nest is within the expected "hatch window."

A RESOURCE protection area (sea turtle nest site) is located 0.9 of a mile north of Rodanthe Pier. This area will be expanded on September 15. There will be no ORV or pedestrian access available behind the nest. This nest is within the expected "hatch window."

A RESOURCE protection area (sea turtle nest site) is located approximately 1.0 miles north of Ramp 27. This area will be expanded on September 14. There will be no ORV and pedestrian access available behind the nest because there is inadequate space above the nest and toe of the dune for an ORV or pedestrian bypass. The nest is within the expected "hatch window."

A RESOURCE protection area (sea turtle nest site) is located approximately 1.0 miles north of Ramp 27. This area will be expanded on September 21. There will be no ORV and pedestrian access available behind the nest because there is inadequate space above the nest and toe of the dune for an ORV or pedestrian bypass. The nest is within the expected "hatch window."

Ramp 27 – Ramp 30: (2.2 miles)

The beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access for 2.2 miles between Ramp 27 and Ramp 30.

Ramp 30 – Ramp 34: (4.3 miles)

The beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access for 4.3 miles between Ramp 30 and Ramp 34.

Ramp 34 - Ramp 38: (beaches in front of Avon = 4.0 miles)

The beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access for 4.0 miles between Ramp 34 and Ramp 38.

A RESOURCE protection area (sea turtle nest site) is located approximately 0.8 of a mile north of Ramp 38. This area will be expanded on August 26. Pedestrian access is available behind the nest closure outside of the signed protected area. The turtle nest is within the expected "hatch window."

Ramp 38 - Ramp 43: (6.0 miles)

Currently, there is no through access for ORVs between Ramp 38 and Ramp 43. Pedestrian access is open for 6.0 miles between Ramp 38 and Ramp 43.

A SAFETY closure is 3.6 miles long, beginning 2.0 miles south of Ramp 38 to 0.4 of a mile north of Ramp 43, was adjusted on May 14. This section is open to pedestrian access, but not ORV access.

A RESOURCE protection area (sea turtle nest site) is located approximately 0.5 of a mile south of Ramp 38. This area will be expanded on September 2 and there will be ORV and pedestrian access behind the nest closure outside of the signed protection area. The nest is within the expected "hatch window."

A RESOURCE protection area (sea turtle nest site) is located approximately 1.6 miles south of Ramp 38. This area will be expanded on September 4. There will be ORV and pedestrian access behind the nest closure outside of the signed protection area. The nest is within the expected "hatch window."

A RESOURCE protection area (sea turtle nest site) is located approximately 0.6 mile north of Ramp 43. This area will be expanded on September 7, 2008. This is within the annual lifeguard swim beach and therefore does not affect ORV access. Pedestrian access is available behind the nest closure outside of the signed protection area. The nest is within the expected "hatch window."

A RESOURCE protection area (sea turtle nest site) is located approximately 1.3 miles north of Ramp 43. This area will be expanded on August 30. This is within the seasonal lifeguard swim beach and therefore does not affect ORV access. Pedestrian access is available behind the nest closure outside of the signed protection area. The nest is within the expected "hatch window."

A RESOURCE protection area (sea turtle nest site) is located approximately 0.6 of a mile north of Ramp 43. This area will be expanded on September 22. This is within the seasonal swim beach area and therefore does not affect ORV access. Pedestrian access is available behind the nest closure outside of the signed protection area. The nest is within the expected "hatch window."

Ramp 43 - Ramp 44: (0.3 of a mile)

The beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access from Ramp 43 to Ramp 44 and north of Ramp 43 for 0.4 of a mile. Access south to Cape Point via Ramp 44 is temporarily closed due to turtle nests but access to Cape Point is available via the Salt Pond Road.

Ramp 44 - Ramp 45 (Cape Point): (2.4 miles)

Ramp 44 is open but access south to Cape Point is temporarily closed. Salt Pond Road is open and access to Cape Point from Salt Pond Road is open. Ramp 45 is open.

The RESOURCE protection (prenesting) area has been reduced to a winter resource closure for non-breeding/wintering birds at Cape Point on August 25, 2008. It includes interior areas of the spit and the ponds in the interdunal areas. There is ORV access from Ramp 44 south to the tip and around the point to the Salt Pond Road and the ORV corridor is marked with brown carsonite posts. Pedestrian access is permitted, but pets are prohibited, outside of the ORV corridor at this site.

A RESOURCE protection area (sea turtle nest site) is located approximately 0.1 of a mile south of Ramp 44. This area will be expanded on September 8. There is ORV and pedestrian access behind the nest closure outside of the signed protection area. This nest is within the expected "hatch window."

A RESOURCE protection area (sea turtle nest site) is located approximately 0.4 of a mile south of Ramp 44. This area will be expanded on August 25, 2008. This is a full beach closure. There will not be ORV or pedestrian access available behind the nest closure because of the location of the nest against the toe of the dune. The nest is within the expected "hatch window."

A RESOURCE protection area (sea turtle nest site) is located approximately 0.4 of a mile south of Ramp 44. This area will be expanded on September 6, 2008. This is a full beach closure. Access to Cape Point around this closure will be provided via the inter-dunal bypass route. The nest is within the expected "hatch window."

A RESOURCE protection area (sea turtle nest site) is located approximately 0.4 of a mile south of Ramp 44. This area will be expanded on September 9, 2008. This is a full beach closure. There will NOT be ORV or pedestrian access available behind the nest closure because of the location of the nest against the toe of the dune, which will close this access route to Cape Point. There is access to Cape Point via the inter-dunal road to Salt Pond Road, then east along the beach to Cape Point. The nest is within the expected "hatch window."

 

Ramp 45 to Ramp 49 (South Beach): (3.4 miles)

Ramp 45 is open. Salt Pond Road is open.Currently, there is no through access for ORVs between Ramp 45 and 49 due to a resource protection closure for a sea turtle nest. There is pedestrian access along the ocean shoreline from Ramp 45 to Ramp 49 for 3.4 miles.

A RESOURCE protection area (prenesting area) was removed and has transitioned to an ORV corridor on August 25, 2008.It includes upper beach areas that encompass the dunes and extends towards the ocean.

A RESOURCE protection area (sea turtle nest site) is located 0.2 miles east of Ramp 45. This area will be expanded on September 23. There will be no ORV or pedestrian access available behind the nest. This nest is within the expected "hatch window."

A RESOURCE protection area (sea turtle nest site) is located approximately 0.5 miles west of Ramp 45. This area will be expanded on September 7, 2008. There will be ORV and pedestrian access behind the nest closure outside of the signed protection area. The nest is within the expected "hatch window."

A RESOURCE protection area (sea turtle nest site) is located approximately 0.7 miles west of Ramp 45. This area will be expanded on September 7, 2008. There will be ORV and pedestrian access behind the nest closure outside of the signed protection area. The nest is within the expected "hatch window."

A RESOURCE protection area (sea turtle nest site) is located 0.5 mile east of Ramp 49. This is a full beach closure. This area will be expanded on September 3. There will be no ORV and pedestrian access behind the nest because there is inadequate space above the nest and the toe of the dune for an ORV or pedestrian bypass. The nest is within the expected "hatch window."

A RESOURCE protection area (sea turtle nest site) is located 0.2 of a mile east of Ramp 49. This area will be expanded on September 11. There will be no ORV and pedestrian access behind the nest because there is inadequate space above the nest and the toe of the dune for an ORV or pedestrian bypass. The nest is within the expected "hatch window."

 

 

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

The beach is open to ORV for 0.4 miles southwest of Ramp 49 and 0.1 of a mile east of Ramp 55 (in front of Frisco and Hatteras Villages). Currently, there is no through ORV access between Ramp 49 and Ramp 55, but pedestrian access is open for 5.9 miles from Ramp 49 to Ramp 55.

The beach in front of Frisco Village to Hatteras Village is open to pedestrian access, but not ORV access for 4.7 miles.

A RESOURCE protection area (sea turtle nest site) is located 0.3 of a mile west of Ramp 49. This area will be expanded on September 15. There will be no ORV and pedestrian access behind the nest because there is inadequate space above the nest and the toe of the dune for an ORV or pedestrian bypass. The nest is within the expected "hatch window."

A RESOURCE protection area (sea turtle nest site) is located approximately 3.1 miles north of Ramp 55. This area will be expanded on September 9. This is within a SAFETY closure and therefore does not affect ORV access. There will be a pedestrian access behind (west) of the nest closure outside of the signed protection area. The turtle nest is within the expected "hatch window."

Ramp 55 - Hatteras Inlet: (2.7 miles)

ORV and pedestrian access is open for 2.5 miles along the ocean shoreline from Ramp 55 west to the Hatteras Inlet. The Pole Road is open from Ramp 55 west to Hatteras Inlet. The Cable Crossing route is open to access on the sound shoreline. The Spur Road is open to access to the sound shoreline.

A RESOURCE protection (prenesting) area at the Isabel overwash transitioned to a winter resource closure for non-breeding/wintering birds from the sound shoreline to the ocean dune on July 15, 2008. The Pole Road is open in front of the overwash fan areas and there is also ocean shoreline access.

A RESOURCE protection (prenesting) area will be reduced to a winter resource closure for non-breeding/wintering birds at Hatteras Inlet on September 2, 2008. It includes interior areas south of the Pole Road. There is ORV access from Ramp 55 south, and from the southern terminus of the Pole Road on the ocean shoreline, to the tip and around the point to the Rip" and sound shoreline. The ORV corridor is marked with brown carsonite posts. Pedestrian access is permitted, but pets are prohibited, outside of the ORV corridor at this site. The area is experiencing a high rate of shoreline erosion and will be monitored daily should it become necessary to install a safety closure for ORVs.

A RESOURCE protection area (sea turtle nest site) is located approximately 3.1 miles north of Ramp 55. This area will be expanded on September 9. This is within a SAFETY closure and therefore does not affect ORV access. There will be a pedestrian access behind (west) of the nest closure outside of the signed protection area. The turtle nest is within the expected "hatch window."

Ocracoke Island

The Ocracoke Island District has a total distance of 18.2 miles of ocean shoreline. Approximately 17.3 miles are open to pedestrian access. Approximately 9.7 miles are open to ORV access on Ocracoke Island. ORV use is restricted by a 4.8 mile SAFETY closure. Approximately 0.9 miles are closed to all access for RESOURCE PROTECTION areas. During the week of September 21st, as sea turtle nest "hatch window" dates approach, the visiting public can expect to see additional full beach closures on Ocracoke Island.

Ramp 59 - Ramp 67: (7.8 miles; includes North Ocracoke Spit)

There is no through ORV shoreline access between these two ramps. Pedestrian access is open from Ramp 59 to Ramp 67, 6.4 miles in length.

A RESOURCE protection (prenesting) area was REMOVED at North Ocracoke Spit on July 15, 2008 and a migrating/wintering closure was established on August 6, 2008.

A SAFETY closure, 4.8 miles long, begins 1.0 miles south of Ramp 59 to 1.4 miles north of Ramp 67, was adjusted on May 14 is still in effect. This section is open to pedestrian access, but not to ORV access.

A RESOURCE protection area (sea turtle nest site) is located approximately 0.6 miles south of Ramp 59. This area will be expanded on September 4. This is a full beach closure. There will not be ORV or pedestrian access available behind the nest closure because of the location of the nest against the toe of the dune. The nest is within the expected "hatch window."

A RESOURCE protection area (sea turtle nest site) is located 1.4 miles south of Ramp 59. This area will be expanded on September 14. This area is within a SAFETY closure and therefore does not affect ORV access. Pedestrian access is not available behind the nest because of the location of the nest against the toe of the dune. The nest is within the expected "hatch window."

A RESOURCE protection area (sea turtle nest site) is located 1.5 miles south of Ramp 59. This area will be expanded on September 15. This area is within a SAFETY closure and therefore does not affect ORV access. Pedestrian access is not available behind the nest because of the location of the nest against the toe of the dune. The nest is within the expected "hatch window."

A RESOURCE protection area (sea turtle nest site) is located approximately 2.4 miles south of Ramp 59. This area will be expanded on September 4. This area is within a SAFETY closure and therefore does not affect ORV access. Pedestrian access is not available behind the nest closure because of the location of the nest against the toe of the dune. The nest is within the expected "hatch window."

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

There is no through ORV shoreline access between Ramp 67 and Ramp 70. Pedestrian access is open. The annual seasonal beach closure in front of the Ocracoke Campground and Day Use area went into effect on May 15, 2008. The beach from is open from Ramp 68 to Ramp 70.

A RESOURCE protection area (sea turtle nest site) is located 0.2 of a mile north of Ramp 68. This area will be expanded on September 16. This area is within a SAFETY closure and therefore does not affect ORV access. Pedestrian access is not available behind the nest because of the location of the nest against the toe of the dune. The nest is within the expected "hatch window."

Ramp 70 - Ramp 72 (1.8 miles) and Ramp 72 to South Ocracoke Spit (4.4 miles):

The ocean shoreline is open to ORV and pedestrian access for 2.3 miles south of Ramp 72 to the tip of South Point.

A RESOURCE protection (prenesting) area has been reduced to a winter resource closure for non-breeding/wintering birds on August 28, 2008. It encompasses interior and soundside areas of the spit. The resource closure is marked with red carsonite posts as closed to all access. The ORV corridor is marked with brown carsonite posts. Pedestrian access is permitted, but pets are prohibited, outside of the ORV corridor at this site. A few hundred feet of the sound shoreline on the southwest side of the point is closed to ORVs, but open to pedestrians and boat landings, based on current shoreline conditions. Ocean shoreline access is available for 2.3 miles from Ramp 72 south.

-NPS-

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.