Beach Access and Park Issues
May 13, 2009

Seasonal beach closures will start May 15

The annual seasonal closures of village beaches to off-road vehicle (ORV) use within the Cape Hatteras National Seashore will go into effect on Friday, May 15. 

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 seashore Supt. Mike Murray.

The seasonally closed areas are identified by signs at both ends of 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. 

According to a Park Service media release, 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 seashore beaches. 

The seasonal closures apply to the following areas:

•    Bodie Island, Ramp 1 to 0.1 of a mile south of Ramp 2, (Coquina Beach).
•    Hatteras Island, beach areas fronting the villages of Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo and Avon.
•    Hatteras Island, beach from the north boundary of Buxton to 0.4 of a mile north of Ramp 43.
•    Hatteras Island, beach fronting the villages of Frisco and Hatteras.
•    Ocracoke Island, beach from 1.0 south of Ramp 59 to 1.4 miles north of Ramp 67. 
•    Ocracoke Island, beach from 0.6 of a mile south of Ramp 67 to Ramp 68 (Campground).
•    Ocracoke Island, beach from  0.6 of a mile south of Ramp 68 to 0.4 of a mile north of Ramp 70, (Day Use Area).

The one safety closure adjustment would be:

•    Hatteras Island: A safety closure is in effect 2.0 miles south of Ramp 38 to the Buxton village line.

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 seashore.  Alternative access routes will be used to keep ORV and pedestrian access open whenever possible. 
Park management will continue to monitor and adjust existing safety and resource closures and ORV and pedestrian access corridors, as necessary.

For more information, see the weekly Beach Access Reports or Google Earth map posted on The Island Free Press Web site – Go to the Beach Access Page and click on the link to the Google Earth maps in the red bar at the top of the page.

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