Cape Point reopens to vehicles
By IRENE NOLAN
The National Park Service has reopened off-road vehicle access to Cape
Point – exactly four months to the day since it was closed to protect
shorebirds preparing to nest in the area.
The park reopened Ramp 44 last week and permitted pedestrian access to
the Point at that time. The beach was open to ORVs for only
eight-tenths of a mile south of the ramp.
Today, the Park Service opened the area from Ramp 44 to the tip of Cape
Point and also opened an ORV and pedestrian access corridor along the
shoreline to the southwest of the tip of the Point for six-tenths of a
mile to where a pre-nesting resource closure remains in effect.
The Interdunal Road and Ramp 45 are open to ORV and pedestrian access
for two-tenths of a mile east of the ramp.
The Salt Pond Road is closed.
Cape Point has been closed to ORVs since March 18 and to pedestrians –
except for those who could wade in the water – from April 21 until last
Ramp 44 was closed on May 15 when the first piping plover nest in the
area hatched, which kicked in the 1,000-meter buffer around the chicks.
Shorebird nesting activity is now winding down for the season.
Driving is still prohibited on the beach from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. And
there is still a ban on beach fires because of the drought conditions
in eastern North Carolina.