The beaches of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore (CHNS) will
remain open for visitors after the federal government shutdown that occurred at
12 a.m. on Saturday, although visitors’ services will be closed until the
shutdown is over.
Typical visitors’ services include local visitors’ centers,
permit offices, and restrooms, which will be closed during the shutdown. The https://www.recreation.gov website, where online permits can be obtained,
has been temporarily disabled. The Wright Brothers National Memorial will also
The beaches will remain open, and all park roads and parking
areas will be open.
“We’re doing everything we can to allow the public to
utilize areas of the park that don’t require staffing this time of year,” said
David Hallac, Cape Hatteras National Seashore Superintendent.
The park will operate with a very small number of staff –
just law enforcement personnel - until the shutdown is over.
Oregon Inlet Fishing Center was open on Saturday morning, and it
appeared that the fishing center would be able to stay open for the
duration of the shutdown.
The last time a government shutdown affected the Cape
Hatteras National Seashore was in October 2013, when parking areas and ORV
ramps were barricaded, in addition to the shuttered park facilities.
This time, the parking areas and beaches will not be blocked
off, however there will be no visitors’ facilities open within the seashore.
It is not clear how long the shutdown will last, however
several U.S. lawmakers have stated that they expect the shutdown to continue
until at least early next week.
The Island Free press will continue to post updates on
potential closures and openings during the shutdown.