Beach Access and Park Issues
September 7,  2009

Stand in the Sand 2: Community comes
together to celebrate beach access

The second annual “Stand in the Sand: Beach Bums Barbecue” went off without a hitch on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 6. 

The sky threatened rain all day, but aside from a few drops here and there, the weather held out for the hundreds of folks who showed up at the Fessenden Center ball field to eat some barbecue, enjoy some music, and show their support for the cause of free and open beaches. 

The event, organized by Rob Alderman, “the general” of the Hatteras Island Fish Militia and host of the popular television show “Outer Banks Angler,” kicked off at noon, with music from the Summertime Blues Band and a statement from Betty Jo Shepheard, the eastern region representative for U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C.

Shepheard read a statement from the senator in which he called the current situation on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands “regrettable,” and said he believes that a compromise needs to be reached.

Burr recently introduced S 1557, a bill aimed at overturning the unpopular, and some would say unsuccessful, consent decree and reinstating the Interim Management Strategy for the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area.

“The senator certainly supports [the cause],” Shepheard said.

And based on the event’s turnout, the senator is not alone.

Nearly a thousand people stopped by the Fessenden center for the Stand, Part 2.  Families and kids and dogs strolled in the ball field, buying T-shirts or crafts,  gathering information, and purchasing barbecue dinners, homemade desserts, and ice cream.

Warren Judge, chairman of the Dare County Board of Commissioners, and board member Jack Shea addressed the crowd about the importance of beach access to the county.

Dozens of volunteers donated their time, money, goods, and services to the event.

Throughout the day, volunteers cooked and served pork and chicken barbecue while four bands -- Summertime Blues Band, Camp F, Blistered, and Chicamacomico -- entertained event-goers.

In addition to delicious food and good music, there were door prizes, games, a raffle, craftspeople selling their wares, a climbing wall, and booths with information on beach access issues.

The event served the dual purpose of raising funds for the Cape Hatteras Access Preservation Alliance (CHAPA), an organization that includes the Outer Banks Preservation Association (OBPA), the Cape Hatteras Anglers Club, and the North Carolina Beach Buggy Association (NCBBA), and increasing public awareness of the issue.

This year’s Stand in the Sand was a success on both fronts.

In terms of getting the word out there, the event was at least as successful, if not more so, than the first Stand in the Sand.

In addition to the OBPA, NCBBA, and Anglers Club booths, this year’s event also featured an information booth by Dare County’s preservation effort, Preserve Access to America’s Beaches.

A collaboration between the Outer Banks Tourism Board and the Dare County Board of Commissioners, the Web site,, was launched on Feb. 1 of this year, but, according to Gary Gross, a public information official with the project, the issue “is something to which the Board of Commissioners has long been committed.”

Gross said that one of Preserve Access to America’s Beaches’ focuses is to educate all of America about the struggle for continued beach access on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands.

“We need the support of people, congressmen, and senators from all over the country,” he said. “This is an American issue, not just…an Outer Banks issue.”
And in fact, that was a sentiment expressed by many event-goers.

Kevin McCabe, Hatteras Island resident and author of “25 Secrets Revealed: An Culinary Tour,” said he came to the event to promote free and open beaches and to “ask people if they know anyone in America who would like their beaches shut down.”

McCabe, who said that learning about nature and wildlife was a big part of his life growing up on the island, bemoaned not just the loss of access, but the loss of wildlife education—for visitors and locals alike—that accompanies it.

Tim and Linda Daniel, who live in Gettysburg, Pa., and own property in Avon, have been coming to Hatteras Island for more than 15 years.

“We’re here because we love the beach, and we want to keep the beaches open,” Tim said.

After citing frustrations with what they see as an increasingly heavy-handed approach to management of the Gettysburg National Military Park, near their home, Daniel noted that the precedent being set at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, in his opinion, is a dangerous one.

 “If they can succeed here, they can succeed [anywhere].”

In the end, the Stand in the Sand raised approximately $12,000 for CHAPA from the sale of food, baked goods, raffle and game tickets, and donations.

Though the funds raised fell short of last year’s mark by about $5,000, Alderman says he is happy.

“I think we did well given the state of the economy,” he said, chalking the drop in funds up to decreased donations of goods and services, as well as smaller donations from event patrons.  “It was as good as we could have hoped for.”

Alderman says he would like to extend a big thank you to Fred and Ginger Wojohowski, Ruddy and Margie Riggsby, Frisco Rod and Gun, Midgett Realty, Hatteras Realty,  Mack Daddy’s, Island Perks, and all the people and businesses that contributed door prizes and baked goods.

And, in case you don’t recognize Alderman in the slide show with this article, it’s because his shiny, shaven head is covered with a hat that comes complete with spiky, brown hair.  Plenty of folks on Sunday chatted with him for a while before realizing to whom they were talking.


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