of 2017 is shaping up to be an early shorebird nesting season, and a
corridor was established at Cape Point on Tuesday morning, March 28,
due to American oystercatcher nesting activity.
Cape Point will be open for as long as possible using the wildlife buffers that were modified during the summer of 2015.
pair of American oystercatchers is in the process of setting up a nest
near the point, and the buffer for oystercatcher nesting activity is
150 meters. When the buffers were modified in 2015, it included
an ability to place a driving corridor in front of the nesting areas so
that vehicles could pass through and access open areas.
Consequently, a vehicle corridor has been implemented in front of the
of Tuesday, March 28, ramps 43 and 44 and the entire bypass road were
open to ORVs and pedestrians. Once vehicles drive south of where the
new bypass road exits onto the beachfront, the beach will still be open
for several hundred meters to the south. The no-stopping vehicle
corridor leads to the tip of Cape Point, where there is room for
several dozen vehicles to spread out in the open area, depending on the
tide. (I.e., it will be a smaller area at high tides and when
there are high seas, such as those expected today and building on
Friday and Saturday.)
National Park Service (NPS) is evaluating the implementation of a
second vehicle corridor that would go to the west, and keep the end of
the south beach portion of the ORV route open. The NPS is
checking on the status of a second pair of oystercatchers and will
implement the westward corridor if the nesting activity for the second
pair stays far enough to the west.
to Cape Point is very important to everyone,” said Cape Hatteras
National Seashore Superintendent David Hallac in an email released
Monday evening. “…I can assure you that our staff will do everything
they can, consistent with the modified wildlife buffers, to maximize
there are over 40 miles of drive-able beaches open for ORV access
through April 14. Visitors can view Beach Access Ramp Status for
the Cape Hatteras National Seashore at https://www.facebook.com/CapeHatterasNS/