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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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Resources update: Tern chicks and one oystercatcher chick keep Point closed

Though piping plover breeding activity is apparently over for the season, Cape Point will remain closed for now by an active least tern colony and one unfledged American oystercatcher chick, according to Cape Hatteras National Seashore officials.  
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UPDATE: Bipartisan sportsmen's bill suffers serious setback in Senate

The Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act suffered a serious, perhaps fatal, setback in the Senate this morning when it failed to win the 60 votes needed to move forward.

The bill, which now has more than 100 amendments, including one which is identical to a Senate bill, S 486, which would modify the National Park Service's ORV plan and final rule for the Cape Hatteras National Seashore that became effective in February 2012.
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Burr offers amendment to Sportsmen's Act to ensure beach access

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-NC, today offered an amendment to S 2363, the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014, that would help ensure public and ORV access to North Carolina’s Cape Hatteras National Seashore. 

The Burr amendment is identical to S 486, which passed unanimously through the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on June 18, 2013.  
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Kym Hall named acting superintendent of Outer Banks Group

Regional Director Stan Austin announced yesterday that Kym Hall has been selected as the acting superintendent of Cape Hatteras National Seashore and the Outer Banks Group, effective Aug. 4.  Hall will temporarily replace Superintendent Barclay Trimble, who is moving to Atlanta to take on the role of deputy regional director of the Southeast Region.
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UPDATE: Park Service closes more beach in north Avon for tern breeding activity

The National Park Service has expanded the resource closures for least terns in front of oceanfront houses in north Avon.

The newest closure includes two 75-meter buffers for least terns that are making "scrapes" in the sand, which is considered breeding activity.  There are no new nests yet.
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UPDATE:  Park Service modifies buffer for nesting terns in north Avon

Superintendent Barclay Trimble today allowed the modification of a buffer around a least tern nest in north Avon that had closed the ocean beach in front of about nine houses on Pamlico Court. Trimble said today that the required 100-meter buffer was reduced to 50 meters.
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Least tern nest closes oceanfront in north Avon

The National Park Service discovered a least tern nest on Sunday that has closed the ocean beach in front of nine houses on Pamlico Court on the very north end of Avon. The Park Service established  a colonial waterbird pre-nesting area north of Avon in the spring, but this pair of birds nested just south of the pre-nesting area. 

The buffer distance for a least tern nest is 100 meters, which is about 328 feet or a little longer than a football field. Therefore, the resource closure extends in front of about nine oceanfront houses on Pamlico Court in northern Avon.  
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Superintendent backs away from dredged sand at Cape Lookout

After listening to the public and consulting the experts, the superintendent of Cape Lookout National Seashore decided to back away from his controversial request  that dredged sand be considered to shore up the eroding end of Shackleford Banks, a wild, uninhabited island that is part of the park.

“We heard from a lot of people and we consulted with a number of scientists,” Patrick Kenney said yesterday. “After weighing all that, I decided that it was in the best interest of the park that we not accept sand for the next 20 years. It wasn’t an easy decision.”  
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Ramp 44 reopens to ORV access

The National Park Service this morning reopened the popular off-road vehicle Ramp 44 in the Buxton area of Cape Hatteras National Seashore.  There is ORV access from Ramp 44 south for approximately five-tenths of a mile.  The tip of Cape Point and the Bypass Road remain closed to all access.
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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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Cape Hatteras Lighthouse exterior paint project completed

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse recently received a fresh coat of exterior paint, making this iconic beacon stand out even more boldly against the surrounding green backdrop of oak, pine and wax myrtle vegetation. 

The exterior paint project began in late April and was completed in early June.  The recent work included painting all exterior lighthouse masonry and ground level foundation, painting exterior metal window and door frames, and washing all granite stones.
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Seashore is participating in monofilament recycling program

A new partnership between Cape Hatteras National Seashore  and Cape Lookout Studies was recently established with the installation of three monofilament recycling stations on Hatteras Island.  In the seashore, the three new recycling stations are located at Ramp 44 in Buxton, Ramp 55 in Hatteras, and the Frisco Bath House. 
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EDITOR'S BLOG:  Trimble will be leaving his job as superintendent after fewer than two years

Barclay Trimble will be leaving his job as superintendent of the Outer Banks Group of the National Park Service, which includes Cape Hatteras National Seashore, after fewer than two years on the job.

Stan Austin, NPS Southeast Regional Director, made the announcement in a news release on May 27, that Trimble had been selected as a deputy regional director in the Southeast Regional Office in Atlanta. He will begin his new job in August.
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Ramp 43 reopens to ORV and pedestrian access

The National Park Service today reopened of Ramp 43 in Buxton to off-road vehicle and pedestrian access.  Park staff first observed the hatching of piping plover chicks on the morning of May 23.  For the past three days no piping plover chicks have been observed. Their disappearance is most likely due to avian predation. 
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Cape Hatteras National Seashore Offers Lifeguard Services for 2014 Season

Superintendent Barclay Trimble announced today that Cape Hatteras National Seashore’s (Seashore) summer lifeguard operation and services will begin Saturday, May 24, 2014 and continue through Labor Day, Monday, September 1, 2014.  The three guarded Seashore beaches include Coquina Beach, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse beach, and Ocracoke Day Use Area.  The hours of operation are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., seven days a week.
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Ocracoke’s chief lifeguard is among the NPS employees recognized for valor

Heroic National Park Service employees and partners who risked their lives to assist others in need were recognized Friday in Washington, D.C., at the Department of the Interior’s 69th Honor Awards Convocation.

Among them was Don Hutson, chief lifeguard at the Ocracoke Swim Beach in Cape Hatteras National Seashore, who helped rescue five swimmers caught in rip tides. He personally towed four of the swimmers to shore through 100-plus yards of strong current and surf.  
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NPS chooses new deputy superintendent for Outer Banks Group

Superintendent Barclay Trimble announced today that Mark Dowdle will be joining the park’s management team as the new Deputy Superintendent for the National Park Service  Outer Banks Group.  The Outer Banks Group includes Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Wright Brothers National Memorial, and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site.  
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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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Bodie Island and Cape Hatteras lighthouses to open on April 18

The Cape Hatteras National Seashore Bodie Island and Cape Hatteras Lighthouses will open for the season on Friday, April 18. 

Guided tours will be offered at the Bodie Island Lighthouse. Visitors can climb the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse at set intervals.  These lighthouses will remain open through Columbus Day, Monday, October 13.  Tickets are required.  
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Cape Point closes to ORV access

The National Park Service this morning closed Cape Point to off-road vehicle access.

On April 2, 2014, approximately 0.5 of a mile south of Ramp 44 adjacent to the ocean shoreline, National Park Service staff observed piping plover breeding behavior in an area south of what is commonly known as "the bypass."  
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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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