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Contact: Outer Banks Group, (252) 473-2111
An American Oystercatcher chick hatched Friday afternoon at Bodie Island Spit near Oregon Inlet causing Outer Banks Group Superintendent Mike Murray to announce a beach access change. The area starting 1.0 miles south of Ramp 4 to the end of the spit will be closed from 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. for about three or four nights. Access will reopen each day at 7:00 a.m. Once park biologists are able to determine feeding patterns, 24-hour access will be reopened as long as the chick does not face additional disturbance threats.
“We believe that this action will allow us to protect the American oystercatcher chick but still provide recreational access to the area,” stated Superintendent Murray.
The American Oystercatcher is federally protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. This act protects all migratory birds like the American Oystercatcher and their parts (eggs, nests, feathers) from pursuit, hunting, taking, capturing, killing, selling, etc.
Approximately 3.5 miles of ocean beach, that is accessible from Ramp 4, remains open to nighttime ORV and pedestrian access. All users are asked to reduce their speed to 10 mph on the beach near resource closures. Additionally, all dogs must remain on leashes of six feet or less while in the Seashore.