Beach Access Issues
March 23, 2009

Seashore’s first two shorebird breeding areas are closed

Cape Hatteras National Seashore officials have closed the first two shorebird breeding areas of the season, in accordance with the consent decree that was approved by the U.S. District Court on April 30 of last year.

1)  Bodie Island Spit – A full beach closure has been established 1.3 miles south of Ramp 4 along the ocean shoreline, as a result of observed piping plover breeding behavior.  ORV and pedestrian access is precluded past the closure.  The shoreline south/west of the closure, outside of the pre-nesting area, remains open for boat landing/pedestrian access.

2)  South Beach -- A full beach closure has been established 0.2 miles west of Ramp 45 along the ocean shoreline and continues for approximately 0.5 of a mile to the west, as a result of observed American oystercatcher breeding behavior.  The closure precludes through access between Ramp 45 and Ramp 49.  Access remains open from Ramp 45 for 0.2 miles east and 0.2 miles west (i.e., a cul-de-sac).  Access is also open from Ramp 49 for 2.7 miles east to where the closure is located.

Under the terms of the consent decree, as shorebird breeding activity is observed NPS is required to install mandatory buffers around breeding sites.  As the breeding season progresses from mid-March to mid-to-late August, park visitors can expect to see temporary resource closures in effect at various locations.  Closures generally will be removed when breeding activity has been completed at a particular site. 

For up-to-date information on what areas are currently open or closed, check the Seashore’s Google Earth map at:  or call 252-473-2111 ext. 148.

Park visitors are reminded that entering a resource closure or damaging resource closure signs or fencing are federal criminal violations, each subject up to a $5,000 fine and up to six months imprisonment.  Pets must be physically restrained at all times on a leash no greater than 6 feet.

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