June 28, 2016

NPS will allow vehicles on beach past closing for fireworks


Cape Hatteras National Seashore officials have decided that this year, off-road vehicles may remain on the beaches near Avon past the 9 p.m. closing time in order to watch the July 4 fireworks.

The fireworks will be staged on the Avon Pier and are scheduled to begin at 9:10 p.m. on Monday evening. The seashore's beaches are closed in the summer from 9 p.m. until 7 a.m. to protect nesting sea turtles.  Since parking is very limited in the area of the pier, many folks used to drive out on the beach to watch -- before beaches were closed at 9 p.m. under the seashore's ORV regulations.

This year, seashore Superintendent Dave Hallac, in response to a request from a beach driver, consulted with his staff and decided to allow vehicles to stay on the beach until after the fireworks.

Hatteras Island District Ranger Joe Darling said in an email that Ramp 32, north of Avon, and Ramp 38, south of Avon, will remain open until after the fireworks show, which will last about 20 minutes.  He also said that there will be park staff members on hand to monitor sea turtle activity.

Seashore officials are requesting that ORVs remain on the beach until 10 p.m. after the fireworks to allow ample time for pedestrians who are also using the ramps to leave the area first. All vehicles should be off the beach by 10:30.

IF you drive to the beach to watch the fireworks, remember that Radio Hatteras will broadcast "Music for Fireworks" from 9 until 10 p.m. at FM 101.5 and 99.9.

Also, seashore officials remind beachgoers over the holiday weekend that:

  • It is illegal to possess and/or discharge fireworks on all seashore beaches.
  • Beach fires are allowed with a permit between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. on the ocean beaches in front of Coquina Beach Day Use Area, Ocracoke Day Use Area, and the villages of Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, Buxton, Frisco, and Hatteras.
  • Items -- such as canopies, tents, and chairs -- may not be left unattended on the beach overnight.  Unattended items are hazardous both to park users at night and nesting sea turtles.
  • Digging holes in the sand is dangerous.  The sand can collapse on the people digging, possibly resulting in death from suffocation. If you do dig holes, fill them in.  They are hazardous to people, vehicles, and wildlife.

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