July 16, 2013

Ramps 43 and 44 reopen; soundside
Hatteras Inlet access closes

By IRENE NOLAN


The National Park Service has reopened two popular off-road vehicle ramps in the Buxton area of Cape Hatteras National Seashore. 

Ramps 43 and 44 reopened to off-road vehicle (ORV) use this morning as the shorebird nesting season comes to a close in this section of the seashore. 

Randy Swilling, the seashore’s natural resources program manager, said that all four of the piping plover chicks from a nest at Ramp 43 have fledged.  That brings the total number of piping plover chicks fledged during this nesting season to seven.

There is ORV access from Ramp 43 north for approximately four-tenths of a mile and from Ramp 44 south for approximately half a mile. 

There is no through ORV access from Ramp 43 to Ramp 44 because of an existing pre-nesting protection area.  Pedestrians can bypass the pre-nesting closure in the ocean surf zone of the shoreline. 

Swilling said that, according to the ORV plan, the pre-nesting closures can come down on July 31.

There is still no ORV access to Cape Point, he said, because of American oystercatcher and tern chicks on the ground.

Also, Ramp 45 remains closed to ORVs and pedestrians.

The nighttime restriction on beach driving is still in effect on all seashore beaches from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.

In addition, because of unsafe shoreline erosion conditions on the soundside of Hatteras Inlet, the “Bone Road” is closed for ORV use.  The shoreline is very narrow with a 2-3 foot escarpment and does not safely permit ORV access. Pedestrian access is permitted.

For up-to-date information on currently open or closed areas, check the Cape Hatteras National Seashore’s Google Earth maps at: 

http://www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/off-road-vehicle-use.htm

For more information, please call the Public Affairs Office at 252-475-9034 or 252-473-2111.


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