|Beach Access Issues
| February 11, 2009
Dare County launches Web site to preserve beach access
An informative and interactive Web site has been launched by the
grassroots campaign to preserve access to America’s
beaches. The Web site address is http://www.PreserveBeachAccess.org.
It features comprehensive coverage about the issue of beach access in
the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area (CHNSRA).
The campaign is supported by the Dare County Board of Commissioners in
partnership with the Dare County Tourism Board.
PreserveBeachAccess.org explains the history of Cape Hatteras, the
first national seashore, and how it was created with the solemn promise
to the people of Dare County that recreational access would never be
denied. A variety of “My Story” videos share personal
experiences of how lives and businesses have been negatively impacted
by the restrictions imposed last year by a consent decree that ended a
federal lawsuit against the Park Service by environmental groups and
resulted in unprecedented closures of seashore beaches to protect
shorebirds and turtles.
A vital part of preserving beach access is building a database of
support from residents and visitors. “Act Now” is an
online opportunity to join the grassroots campaign at
PreserveBeachAccess.org and show you care about beach access. As
legislative issues arise, those in the database will automatically be
kept informed and learn how to take appropriate action in support of
open and accessible beaches.
In launching the Web site, Dare County Board of Commissioners Chairman
Warren Judge said, “Our people have been hurt by the efforts to
restrict beach access.” He explained,
“PreserveBeachAccess.org is a reliable source where people can
get honest information about the issue and help preserve our culture,
history, and way of life.”
The county has hired a full-time employee, Gary Gross, to coordinate
the campaign and Web site. Gross will work in the county’s public
relations department at a salary of $57,644. The position is
being funded by a grant of $80,000 to the county from the Dare County
Tourism Board to cover the salary and employee benefits.
Gross has been a Dare County employee since 2001, when he joined
Emergency Medical Services as an EMT. Dorothy Toolan, Dare
County’s public information officer, said that Gross also has a
background in communications, broadcasting, and marketing.
Toolan said his duties will include managing the Web site’s
database, developing a marketing plan, maintaining contact with
lawmakers on legislation, and speaking engagements.
Toolan added that the county had a $4,950 contract for development of
the Web site. Normally, she said, the work would have been done
by the county’s Information Technology Department but was
contracted out to get the site online more quickly.
An update on beach access legislation re-introduced by U.S. Rep. Walter
Jones, R-N.C., and a diary of Jimmy Buffett’s most recent visit
to the beaches of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area
can now be seen at PreserveBeachAccess.org.
Dare County officials encourage residents and visitors to visit the Web
site regularly for the latest beach access information and bookmark
PreserveBeachAccess.org as a favorite site on their computer.