March 13, 2015

Park Service implements pre-nesting closures

To protect breeding habitat for shorebirds, Cape Hatteras National Seashore staff members are implementing pre-nesting closures in several beach locations. 

During the winter, staff conducted annual assessments of preferred breeding habitat for piping plover, Wilson’s plover, American oystercatcher and colonial waterbirds.  All pre-nesting closures will be marked by March 15.  Pre-nesting areas for colonial waterbird sites will be marked by April 15 and all informational maps and supporting information will be posted at:

The pre-nesting closure areas are based on the recent breeding history at the seashore and the actual habitat conditions observed during the annual assessment.  The site-specific restrictions are posted at each location to provide the most accurate and up-to-date indication of access status.  

In addition, on March 15 the Bodie Island Spit seasonal ORV route from 0.2 mile south of Ramp 4 to the inlet will be changed to a seasonal Vehicle Free Area while the designated year-round ORV route from 0.5 of a mile south of Coquina Beach to 0.2 of a mile south of Ramp 4 remains open to vehicles with access via Ramp 4.

ORV permits are available online by visiting website or at the following park locations: Coquina Beach, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Visitor Center, and the Ocracoke Visitor Center.  The permit offices are open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., year-round, seven days a week, except Christmas Day, with expanded hours on weekends and holidays during the summer season.  The cost of an annual permit (valid for the calendar year) is $120.  A seven-day ORV permit (valid from the date issued) costs $50. 

The seashore’s interactive maps are updated weekly to reflect changes to beach access.  The map is available on-line at:  During the summer season, this map is subject to frequent changes and on-site signage provides current conditions.

For more general information, call 252-473-2111 or visit the park webpage at:

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