NPS Announces First Major Closures under the Consent Decree
Contact: Outer Banks Group, (252) 473-2111 ext 148
The following temporary closures of popular areas are being installed today in accordance with the requirements of the consent decree signed by U.S. District Court Judge Terrence W. Boyle.
1) Bodie Island Spit – A 150 m buffer is required for an American oystercatcher breeding area located approximately 50 meters from the ocean in a narrow section of beach north of the spit. The buffer will preclude ORV and pedestrian access along the ocean shoreline. NPS is evaluating an option for a pedestrian by-pass, outside the buffer, through the interior of the spit to reach sections of the spit/shoreline that are otherwise open to recreational use, but currently an appropriate option does not exist due to flooded conditions. NPS will continue to work on the pedestrian by-pass option. Ramp 4 north to Ramp 2 is open for 2 miles to ORV and pedestrian access until May 15 when the seasonal closure in front of Coquina Beach goes into effect.
2) Cape Point – A 100 m buffer is required for a least tern breeding area that is occurring approximately 80-90 m from the ocean near the eastern edge of the Cape Point prenesting area, adjacent to the ORV corridor on the northeast side of the Point. The 100 m buffer will preclude access along the shoreline. There currently is not an alternative access option around the buffer; however, NPS will continue to evaluate the situation daily.
3) South Ocracoke – A 50 m buffer is required for breeding adult piping plover (PIPL) that are foraging on the northeast side of the prenesting area. A PIPL nest has been established nearby (within the prenesting area). Adult piping plover are repeatedly foraging on the adjacent shoreline in the 100 ft. ORV corridor. There currently is not an alternate route option available; however, NPS will continue to evaluate the situation daily. Ramp 72 north to Ramp 70 is open for approximately 1.8 miles to ORV and pedestrian access.
Other sections of the Seashore were opened over the weekend to ORV and pedestrian access. An ORV safety closure, approximately 1.6 mile in length, was lifted along the Avon beachfront from 0.1 mile north of Avon Fishing Pier to Ramp 38. There is temporarily through-access from Ramp 34 to Ramp 38 until the seasonal village closures go into effect on May 15, 2008.
Temporary stabilization work on Ramp 44 was completed last weekend to attempt to alleviate flooded conditions. The ramp was reopened late Saturday afternoon. Park maintenance crews have further plans to remedy the flooded ramp condition by raising the roadbed with appropriate materials and thus reducing closures of the ramp in the future due to flooding.
For more information on beach access, the Beach Access Report is distributed weekly on Thursdays. For more resource management information, the Resource Management Field Summary is distributed weekly. In addition, check
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.