• Spring-time view of the seashore, with shorebirds returning to the surf.

    Cape Hatteras

    National Seashore North Carolina

First Amendment Rights

The National Park Service has long recognized freedom of speech, press, religion and public assembly. However, the courts have held that certain activities associated with exercising these rights may be reasonably regulated to protect park resources and the public's legitimate use of the park's resources.

First Amendment activities require a special use permit in advance of the activity and the park may regulate the time, place and manner of the activity in accordance with court and public law guidelines. Specific examples of first amendment activities requiring a special use permit include:

  • Distribution of printed matter
  • Political speeches
  • Religious services
  • Public assemblies
  • Collecting signatures for petitions
The park has set aside special First Amendment zones for these activities, and a map will be furnished to those requesting in writing a copy, addressed to the Superintendent at our mailing address: National Park Service, Outer Banks Group, 1401 National Park Drive, Manteo, North Carolina 27954.

Did You Know?

Lightning whelks are one of the few species of

Lightning whelks eat about one large clam per month. The whelk pries the clam open with its muscular foot, wedges the clam open with its shell, then eats the soft inside of the clam. Lightning whelk shells, which whorl to the left, wash up on the beach at Cape Hatteras National Seashore.