The Cape Hatteras National Seashore (CHNS) announced several recent updates and news items related to recreational activities, closures or cancellations, and seashore conditions on Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands.
News items and events related to the National Seashore for the week of July 9 include the following:
- Looking for the status of Cape Hatteras National Seashore facilities and services? Visit www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/operational-status-report.htm. The Operational Status Report provides the most up-to-date information and conditions for Cape Hatteras.
- The National Weather Service is monitoring a disorganized low just off the NC coast that is expected to move over or just offshore of the Outer Banks today. Currently, the system has an 80% chance of development over the next couple of days and is likely to become a tropical or subtropical storm later today or tonight. Regardless of development, the main threats to our area will be periods of locally heavy rainfall and increased rip current threats. Visit http://www.weather.gov/mhx/tropical and http://www.nhc.noaa.gov for more information. Stay safe!
- It is important for all beach visitors to check the rip current forecast before heading to the beach. Go to: http://www.weather.gov/beach/mhx. Visitors can also sign up for ocean safety text messages by texting ‘Join OBXBeachConditions’ to 30890. Text ‘STOP’ to 30890 when you no longer want to receive updates.
- Lifeguards are on duty from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily at Coquina Beach, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Beach, Frisco Beach, and Ocracoke Beach.
- In-person off-road vehicle (ORV) permit sales offices are currently closed. Permits are available 24/7 at www.recreation.gov. For beach access information, go to: http://go.nps.gov/beachaccess.
- As of this morning, there are over 24 miles of oceanside beach routes available for ORV travel, and another 32 miles open for non-motorized use.
- Before driving on designated ORV routes, the Seashore strongly recommends that tire pressure be lowered to at least 20 psi. The softer the sand, the lower the pressure needed. Many local businesses have low cost or free air supply stations.
- As a reminder, from May 1 through July 31, priority ORV ramps close at 9 p.m. and reopen the following morning at 6 a.m. All other designated ocean-side ORV ramps close at 9 p.m. and reopen at 7 a.m. Night driving restrictions help protect nesting sea turtles. While night driving restrictions are in place, visitors may still park their vehicles in parking areas and walk on the beach at night. Sound-side ramps, Pole Road, and the Inside Road do not have night driving restrictions.
- Walking access to Cape Point recently reopened. From the current ORV boundary, it is a very short walk to the tip of the Point.
- 138 sea turtles have nested on seashore beaches this season, so far. Be on the lookout for nesting female sea turtles and report any sightings to our hotline at 252-216-6892. To learn about upcoming sea turtle nest excavations, call 252-475-9629.
- All shorebird and sea turtle nesting activities are listed at http://go.nps.gov/fieldsummary.
- Visitors should practice the Three W’s – Wear. Wait. Wash. Wear a cloth face covering when social distancing cannot be maintained. Wait 6 feet apart. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.