Beach Access Issues
May 11, 2008

Vandalism of resource protection closure signs results in expansion of buffer

Vandalism of symbolic fencing marking a shorebird closure in the South Beach area of Cape Hatteras National Seashore was discovered early Saturday morning.  Approximately 1.7 miles east of Ramp 49 in Frisco, a park ranger patrolling the area discovered and documented 12 posts with “Area Closed” signs broken off at the sand line and several Carsonite closure markers pulled out at the shoreline. 

During the investigation, two sets of footprints were found along the edge of the fence line that extended from the dunes to the waters edge.  No footprints or tire tracks were observed entering the closed area, which was established to protect a least tern colony. No birds appeared to have been disturbed during the act of vandalism.

As prescribed in the court ordered consent decree, this closure violation resulted in a mandatory expansion of the closure area by 50 meters (164 feet) to the west.

The recent court approved consent decree related to shorebird and sea turtle protection at the seashore requires the National Park Service to automatically expand the closure area by 50 meters if a confirmed deliberate act disturbs or harasses wildlife or vandalizes fencing, nests, or plants.  Park staff documented the site and expanded the closure as ordered.

Superintendent Mike Murray reiterated the need for all parties to meet the consent decree requirements. 

“I urge everyone to consider that future acts of intentional vandalism to resource protection areas will result in greater expansion of the buffers.  These expansions are not discretionary under the consent decree,” stated Murray.

For more information about closures at Cape Hatteras National Seashore and visitor opportunities, visit the park’s webpage at

Reward offered for information about closure vandals

The United Four Wheel Drive Association and the Blue Ribbon Coalition are offering a $1,000 reward for specific information leading to the arrest
 and conviction of the person or persons who are responsible for the vandalism for resource protection signs on the South Beach at Frisco. 

Anyone having information should contact United Four Wheel Drive Association at 757-546-7969, the
Blue Ribbon Coalition at 208-237-1008, or Park Service ranger David Carter at 252-475-8326.

Each person submitting information will receive a code number to use in tracking the status of the tip.
Tips can be submitted anonymously.  No caller ID is used and callers need not identify themselves.

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