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Contact: Outer Banks Group, (252) 473-2111 ext 148
Superintendent Mike Murray announced that the annual seasonal closures of village beaches to off-road vehicle (ORV) use within the National Seashore will go into affect on Thursday, May 15, 2008. The ORV closures are established in village beach areas that receive heavy pedestrian use, including areas adjacent to Coquina Beach and the villages of Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands. "These closures provide for the safety of all beach users and minimize user conflicts in congested areas during the busy summer season," said Superintendent Murray.
The seasonally closed areas are identified by signs at both ends of the area, at all other vehicle access points to the area, and on maps available for viewing at the offices of the Superintendent, each District Ranger station, at each Visitor Center and at all other public contact stations. High numbers of visitors and village residents often enjoy these areas by swimming, sunbathing, walking, shell hunting, and engaging in family activities. To ensure a safe visit for everyone, visitors are reminded to keep dogs on leashes and pack in/pack out all trash. Swimmers should be aware of rough surf conditions and the potential for rip currents. Fireworks are not permitted on National Seashore beaches.
Due to the current level of resource closures that have been implemented under the consent decree, NPS is slightly adjusting, where appropriate, some of the seasonal ORV closures to provide more space to accommodate ORV beach access adjacent to village beaches.
The seasonal closures apply to the following areas:
Bodie Island, Ramp 1 to 0.1 of a mile south of Ramp 2 is closed. (i.e., Coquina Beach). (In past years, the ORV closure extended 0.6 of a mile south of Coquina Beach; adjustment opens 0.5 of a mile to ORV use).
Hatteras Island, beach areas fronting the villages of Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo and Avon.
Hatteras Island, beach from the north boundary of Buxton to 0.4miles north ofRamp 43 is closed. (In past years, the ORV closure extended to Ramp 43. *Note: Access north of Ramp 43 is currently blocked due to a resource closure for shorebird breeding activity. Once the bird nesting season is completed, this adjustment would open an additional 0.4 of a mile to ORV use).
Hatteras Island, beach fronting the villages of Frisco and Hatteras.
Ocracoke Island, the safety closure north of Ramp 67 has been reduced by 0.4 of a mile. The safety closure now begins 1.4 miles north of Ramp 67 and ends 1.0 miles south Ramp 59; *** Note: There is resource protection area to the north end of the this safety closure. (The total safety closure distance is 4.8 miles.)
Ocracoke Island, beach from Ramp 67 to Ramp 68 is closed for 0.9 of a mile. The seasonal closure in front of the Ocracoke Campground begins 0.6 of a mile south of Ramp 67 to Ramp 68; this adjustment opens 0.4 of a mile to ORV use. (In past years, it began 0.2 of a mile south of Ramp 67.)
Ocracoke Island, beach south of Ramp 68 (adjacent/south of the Campground and historically has been closed as part of a seasonal closure) is now open for 0.3 of a mile; this adjustment opens 0.3 of a mile to ORV use.
The one safety closure adjustment would be:
Hatteras Island, the safety closure south of Ramp 38 will be reduced 0.2 of a mile towards Buxton; this adjustment opens 0.2 of a mile for ORV use.
Although access to popular spits and the Cape Point area is currently restricted because of temporary resource closures implemented under the consent decree, ORV and pedestrian access remains open at many locations throughout the National Seashore. The weekly Beach Access Report contains current information regarding access routes and closures. Alternative access routes will be used to keep ORV and pedestrian access open whenever possible. The park will continue to monitor and adjust existing safety and resource closures and ORV and pedestrian access corridors, as necessary.