August 17, 2015

Cape Point reopens to pedestrians,
but drivers will have to wait


The National Park Service today reopened Cape Point for pedestrian access, but it will likely be another two weeks before it will open to off-road vehicle access.

According to Randy Swilling, the seashore's natural resources program manager, the last remaining American oystercatcher chick at Cape Point fledged yesterday, and a least tern colony has finished nesting and moved on.

This morning, the Park Service opened pedestrian  corridors to Cape Point from the east side, with access via Ramp 44, and from the former Ramp 45 on the west side of the Point.  Access via Ramp 45 is from a parking lot at the back of the Cape Point Campground.

However, park regulations require an additional two-week wait after an oystercatcher chick fledges.

The chick is considered fledged when it is observed flying for 30 meters.  However, park biologists explain that the oystercatcher chicks are large and awkward, so the park's wildlife buffer rules call for an extra two weeks to be sure the chick is flying competently before the area is open to vehicles.

Swilling said in an e-mail today that seashore officials will look for additional opportunities to open the Point earlier, but there are no guarantees.

The latest that Cape Point would reopen, he said, would be Sunday, Aug. 30. 


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