By IRENE NOLAN
Outer Banks Group Superintendent David Hallac announced today that access to Cape Point, along the Cape Hatteras National Seashore beach from Ramps 43 and 44, has reopened for both off-road vehicles and pedestrians.
The Cape Point area has been closed since May 11 to protect nesting shorebirds and colonial waterbirds.
At this time, ORV access to Cape Point is available via the sand road bypass located just south of Ramp 44. Use of the bypass route will be required until a sea turtle nest located in the area is fully hatched and is excavated.
As a reminder, ORVs are allowed on seashore beaches from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily and a permit is required.
As Cape Hatteras National Seashore is still in the height of sea turtle nesting season, visitors should be on the lookout for signs of sea turtle nesting activity when driving on the beach. Motorists should be watchful for marked sea turtle nests in the area and any special corridors around nests.
Shorebird protection areas, established at the beginning of the shorebird breeding season to set aside suitable nesting habitat, such as the one west of Cape Point, will remain in effect until July 31, or after a 14-day waiting period of no shorebird breeding activity.
This year’s closure at Cape Point was one of the shortest in recent years, mostly because of changes made last year to buffers around nesting shorebirds.
Here are the closing and reopening dates for Cape Point for the last four years:
For more information about Cape Hatteras National Seashore or additional information about off-road vehicle beach driving, please visit us at http://nps.gov/caha and http://facebook.com/capehatterasns.