October 14, 2014

Turtle nest closes Cape Point to ORVs at night


A sea turtle nest that is approaching its expected hatch window has closed the beach at Ramp 44 and Cape Point to ORVs at night.

The nest was expanded and closed to ORVs on Oct. 7, which was 55 days after it was laid.

Nests usually are expanded at 50 days, but, according to Park Service public affairs specialist Cyndy Holda, this one was expanded five days later than usual because of its location at a popular fishing spot.

The nest is actually located one-tenth of a mile north of Ramp 44, but the night driving restriction is in place, Holda said, because lights of ORVs coming on and off the ramp at night might disorient hatchlings.

Cape Point is still accessible to ORVs from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m., and it is open to pedestrians around the clock.

Turtle nests usually hatch at day 60-62, so this one should be hatching any day.  Seashore natural resources manager Randy Swilling said the area will reopen to ORVs after the nest is excavated, which is usually three days after it hatches.

So the Ramp and Cape Point should be open again before the end of the week.

The night closure is from 9 p.m. until 7 a.m.

Holda also said that this nest has been overwashed by high tides only once and is considered to be still viable. Because of the warm fall, she said nests are continue to hatch during the expected windows.


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