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Park Service opens alternate route to Frisco beach

With Ramp 49 still badly flooded, the National Park Service has opened an alternate route for off-road vehicles to reach the beach in the Frisco area.

Back-to-back tropical systems dropped record amounts of rainfall on Hatteras Island in late May and early June leaving ramps in the Buxton and Frisco area and the Cape Point Campground badly flooded.
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Record rainfall leaves some seashore ramps flooded

Record rainfall from tropical cyclone Bonnie has left some ramps in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore flooded and hazardous for travel and has temporarily closed the Cape Point Campground.
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New off-road vehicle ramp 63 opens on Ocracoke Island

The Cape Hatteras National Seashore's newest off-road vehicle ramp, Ramp 63 on Ocracoke Island, is now open. The new ramp is located about three miles south of the Ferry Docks.
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A day in the life of a National Park Service biotech

It’s a slightly overcast Wednesday afternoon, and National Park Service lead biological science technician William Thompson is stepping into his remarkably clean truck, navigating the big pools of waters that have amassed at Ramp 43, and is heading out to Cape Point to check on the day’s birding activity.

And this time of year, when the nesting season is arguably at its peak, there’s definitely a lot to see.
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New study shows extent of light pollution across the night sky

National parks offer some of our nation’s best views of the cosmos. A fundamental new work, The New World Atlas of Artificial Sky Brightness, significantly expands knowledge of light pollution and its impact on the night sky. The atlas, published last week by Science Advances, is the work of an international team including National Park Service scientist Dan Duriscoe.
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Back-to-back storms have little impact on nests in the seashore

The two back-to-back storms that drenched the islands with rain had little impact on the established bird and turtle nests along the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, according to the National Park Service.  Read more

Visitors reminded that drones are banned on the seashore

As the temperatures heat up and more and more visitors flock to the islands, the National Park Service  is noticing an uptick in the number of drones that are making an illegal appearance along the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Drones are prohibited throughout the national seashore -- on all NPS grounds and beaches - -which includes the lighthouses and the surrounding area. However, it seems that not everyone is aware of or following the rules. 
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Cape Point closes to vehicle and pedestrian access

The National Park Service this morning closed pedestrian and off-road vehicle access to Cape Point because of breeding colonial waterbirds, including least terns, common terns, and black skimmers.
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NPS will offer full-moon Cape Hatteras Lighthouse tours through the summer

Grab your flashlight and experience a lighthouse at night by joining the National Park Service on a Full Moon Tour of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. Hear stories of keepers of old, view the working light close up in the lantern room, and catch the reflection off the Atlantic Ocean of the newly-risen full moon as you stand on the lighthouse balcony. 
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UPDATE:  State tosses cold water on NPS  plan to address flooding

Stormwater at Cape Point has finally dried up, but so has the hope that the state will approve a National Park Service proposal to counter further flooding at the campground and ORV access ramps.

Officials with the state Department of Environmental Quality and the Division of Coastal Management told NPS Outer Banks Group Superintendent Dave Hallac on Monday that a park plan to drain the flood-prone areas behind the dunes would violate a rule that forbids connecting water bodies and another standard that protects wetlands. 
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Park Service offers plan to address flooding in Cape Point area

Epic rainfall since September has left the area around Cape Point, one of the most beautiful fishing and camping spots in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, inundated with water and inaccessible to all but determined pedestrians.

Finally, the National Park Service Outer Banks Group has proposed a plan to solve the persistent drainage problem at Cape Point, a dynamic corner of beach and wetlands bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and Buxton Woods maritime forest. 
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NPS campground season will be extended until Nov. 28

The season will be extended for all four campgrounds in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore this season. The campgrounds -- Oregon Inlet, Cape Point, Frisco, and Ocracoke -- will open April 15, 2016 and will remain open until Nov. 28.

The campgrounds have usually opened in April, but have closed anywhere from Labor Day -- for Cape Point -- to the end of October for Ocracoke.  Frisco and Oregon Inlet have closed around Columbus Day in past years.
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Park Service makes it easier, cheaper to get ORV permit online

Cape Hatteras National Seashore officials have announced that they are making changes in how and where the seashore issues its off-road vehicle permits -- changes that will make it easier and cheaper for visitors to get their permits online.

"The changes are being made to increase user convenience, provide new options for park visitors wishing to purchase an ORV permit, and increase efficiency by reducing the cost associated with collecting permit fees," the Park Service said in a news release. 
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Lighthouses will be open for climbing from April 15 - Oct. 10

The Bodie Island and Cape Hatteras Lighthouses will be open for climbing this year from Friday, April 15, through Monday, Oct. 10.

Ticket sales begin daily at 9 a.m. with the last tickets sold at 4:30 p.m. at each site.

Climbing tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for senior citizens (62 or older), children 11 years of age and under, and those holding a National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Access Pass. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis and can be purchased in-person at the site only on the day of the climb. There are no advance ticket sales.
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