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UPDATE: Hatching nests will keep Cape Point closed to night driving for 1-2 more weeks

A turtle nest about to hatch has had Cape Point closed to night driving since Oct. 7, and now the National Park Service says a second nest is also approaching hatching and will likely keep the ban on ORVs at night for another week or two.

Park resources manager Randy Swilling said today that the first nest has started hatching slowly -- not with the usual "boil" of baby turtles all at once. The hatching started over the weekend with about 20 hatchlings one night and about seven on the next, but then slowed down when the weather turned cooler.
 
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Turtle nest closes Cape Point to ORVs at night

A sea turtle nest that is approaching its expected hatch window has closed the beach at Ramp 44 and Cape Point to ORVs at night. The nest was expanded and closed to ORVs on Oct. 7, which was 55 days after it was laid.
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Seashore's acting superintendent updates NCBBA members

Kym Hall, acting superintendent of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, wrote this article for the current North Carolina Beach Buggy Association newsletter. In the article, Hall updates access project and natural resources research.  
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Winds, seas have made ORV travel to Cape Point treacherous

A long period of sometimes gusty northeast wind and high waves pounding the beach have made off-road vehicle travel to Cape Point challenging and treacherous. National Park Service law enforcement rangers did close the area briefly over the weekend to assess the situation and then re-opened it and stayed nearby for a time to warn drivers of the beach conditions.

Now the ORV route to Cape Point is marked with a sign warning drivers that it may be impassable during periods of high t242ides. And it could be dangerous for drivers unfamiliar with beach driving at other times.  
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Operation Beach Respect keeps the seashore clean

Members of the North Carolina Beach Buggy Association and National Park Service employee volunteers manned each beach access ramp from Oregon Inlet to Hatteras on Saturday, Sept. 13, to hand out information packets, including trash bag,s to beachgoers during September's Operation Beach Respect.

Operation Beach Respect is a 30-year-old beach and highway clean-up program that is usually held about three or four times a year.  Volunteers not only clean up the beaches of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, but also remove litter from Highway 12 on Bodie Island.  
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Night driving on ORV routes reopens on Sept. 15

On Monday, Sept.15 at midnight, off-road vehicle routes in Cape Hatteras National Seashore  will reopen to night driving where no turtle nests remain or to the first posted closure in that route. 
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Acting superintendent talks about seashore issues on 'To the Point' radio show...WITH AUDIO

Kym Hall, acting superintendent of the National Park Service's Outer Banks Group, was the guest Sunday, Sept. 7, on the new Radio Hatteras interview show, "To the Point."

The show, hosted by Island Free Press Editor, Irene Nolan, will air on the island's community radio station, FM 101.5 and FM 99.9, at 5 p.m. on the first and third Sunday of each month.  It will be repeated on the second and fourth Sunday.  
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Newly constructed ORV Ramp 25 to open on Sept. 11

The newly constructed off-road vehicle Ramp 25, located south of the village of Salvo and north of the village of Avon, will open to the public on Thursday, Sept. 11. 

"While the adjacent paved parking area for the boardwalk is not fully complete yet, we made the opening of the new ORV ramp a priority to offer beach access for our local residents and park visitors,” stated Acting Outer Banks Group Superintendent Kym Hall.
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Coastal Primer:  A closer look at critical habitat for loggerheads

The federal Endangered Species Act requires the protection of habitat that listed species need to recover. But the creation of so-called "critical habitat" almost always leads to conflicts and usually lawsuits.  Here's a closer look at critical habitat as it applies to loggerhead sea turtles.  
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Cape Point reopens to off-road vehicles

The National Park Service today reopened Cape Point to off-road vehicles. The area has been closed since April 2 for nesting shorebirds and sea turtles. The sea turtle nest that had been restricting ORV access was excavated, and the protection area removed this morning, Aug. 26.  The area is now open to ORV traffic from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily.  The Bypass Road is also open.   
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It makes Turtle Sense:  Giving cell phones to turtles

Think of a sea turtle nest as a baby about to be born, and the volunteer nest watchers and National Park Service biologists as the pacing family members -- waiting, waiting, waiting.

When Eric Kaplan, a Frisco homeowner and founder of the Hatteras Island Ocean Center, realized how much time, money and energy went into management of sea turtle nests in Cape Hatteras National Seashore, he saw the solution in modern wireless technology that could pinpoint the hatch date.

“The best way to describe it,” Kaplan said, “is we’ve given cell phones to turtles.”  
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Outer Banks not included in critical habitat for loggerheads

To the relief of beach access proponents, the Outer Banks is not included in a new rule that established critical habitat areas for loggerhead turtles on nearly 700 miles of shoreline in southeastern states.

The designation from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides another layer of regulation to management of protected species, and is in place on beaches within Cape Hatteras National Seashore for piping plovers.
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Unmanned aircraft to be prohibited in America’s national parks

National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis on Friday, June 20, signed a policy memorandum that directs superintendents nationwide to prohibit launching, landing, or operating unmanned aircraft on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service.

“We embrace many activities in national parks because they enhance visitor experiences with the iconic natural, historic and cultural landscapes in our care,” Jarvis said. “However, we have serious concerns about the negative impact that flying unmanned aircraft is having in parks, so we are prohibiting their use until we can determine the most appropriate policy that will protect park resources and provide all visitors with a rich experience.”
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Boyle rules against CHAPA in lawsuit to stop ORV rule

Federal District Court Judge Terrence Boyle of the Eastern District of North Carolina today ruled against the Cape Hatteras Access Preservation Alliance in its lawsuit to try to overturn the National Park Service's off-road vehicle law and final rule for the seashore, which became effective in February 2012.
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Who owns Bodie Island spit?

Most people would answer that the National Park Service owns the spit of land on the north side of Oregon Inlet.

But that is not the answer according to Dare County records.

According to the county, almost all of Bodie Island spit is in private ownership and is not part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.  
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Circle of stones at old lighthouse site are being uncovered and prepared for a move

Whether climbing the stairs of the lighthouse, perusing the exhibits at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, or merely meandering along a bustling soundside dock, it is easy to see that Hatteras Island abounds with a rich history and a community that deeply cherishes its culture and traditions.

When it seems that a piece of the past may be slipping through the cracks and eventually be forgotten, local residents are quick to take action, initiating petitions for their cause and launching efforts in pursuit of proper historical preservation.

The circle of stones, which marks the former site of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, is one such case.  
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Park Service releases annual resource management reports for 2013

The National Park Service has released its annual resource management reports for the Cape Hatteras National Seashore for 2013.

Included are reports on management of piping plovers, seabeach amaranth, and sea turtles, which are federally listed as threatened – and some of the turtles are endangered.   The park also reports on American oystercatchers and colonial water birds, which are not federally listed but are state species of special concern. There is also a report on predator management.
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Click Here To View 2013 Archived Beach Access Information
Click Here To View 2012 Archived Beach Access Information
Click Here To View 2011 Archived Beach Access Information
Click Here To View 2010 Archived Beach Access Information
Click Here To View 2009 Archived Beach Access Information
Click Here To View 2008 Archived Beach Access Information

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