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Contact: Cyndy Holda, 252-473-2111, ext. 148
Two new vandalism incidents have resulted in expanded buffers at shorebird protection areas in Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Both incidents, discovered over the weekend, are being investigated by NPS law enforcement personnel, and were evaluated by park management on Monday, March 30, 2009.
One incident occurred at the north/east end of the Hatteras Inlet Spit prenesting area, located just south of the southern terminus of Pole Road, where seventeen (17) bird closure signs were destroyed. The second incident occurred at the west end of the South Beach pre-nesting area where two posts and a barrier rope that provided a clear closure boundary at the edge of the intertidal zone had been removed and were missing.
The court ordered consent decree mandates that if a confirmed deliberate act that disturbs or harasses wildlife or vandalizes fencing, nests, or plants occurs, NPS shall automatically expand the buffer by 50 meters on the first offense, 100 meters on the second, and 500 meters on the third. As a result of the expansion at Hatteras Inlet Spit, approximately 0.1 mile of beach south of the southern end of Pole Road is closed to access; however, the Pole Road remains open. On SouthBeach, access has been reduced by 50 meters on the west side of the current resource closure.
NPS law enforcement personnel continue to investigate these two incidents. If anyone has information about any of these violations, please call Dare Community Crime Line at 252-473-3111. Destruction of government property and entering a resource closure are federal criminal violations, each subject up to a $5,000.00 fine and up to six months imprisonment.For up-to-date information on currently open or closed areas, check the Cape Hatteras National Seashore’s Google Earth maps at: http://www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/googleearthmap.htm