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 May 22include the following:
- Lifeguards will be available daily at four Seashore beaches starting tomorrow. Duty hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Labor Day.
- A perfect day on the beach doesn’t always mean that it’s a perfect day in the ocean. Check the beach forecast before visiting. If in doubt, don’t go out. Text “Join OBXBeachConditions” to 30890 to sign up for text alerts on conditions at Outer Banks beaches. Learn more about ocean safety at https://www.lovethebeachrespecttheocean.com/.
- Last Friday, a Dare County resident bravely rescued two young girls from the ocean near Frisco. Since 2016, 23 water-related fatalities have occurred off Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
- The 2020 camping season begins today. Campsite reservations and payments will only be available online at www.recreation.gov. Staff will not be available to take payments at the campground and site availability will be limited.
- Most outdoor areas remain open for the purpose of staying healthy while following federal, state, and county guidelines to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Beach users should stay at least 6 feet from each other and not create a gathering of 10 or more people in a single location (increasing to 25 or more people starting this evening at 5 p.m.). Additionally, vehicles on the beach should be parked roughly 20 feet apart.
In-person off-road vehicle (ORV) permit sales offices are currently closed. Permits are available 24/7 at www.recreation.gov. Permits should be printed and placed in vehicle.
- Shorebird nesting season is off to a strong start this year. Piping plovers, American oystercatchers, and least terns have made nests on Seashore beaches. Within the next couple of days, a protection buffer at Cape Point may need to be expanded to protect two American oystercatcher chicks. As of this morning, their eggs are intact but have not hatched. Visit http://go.nps.gov/fieldsummary for a listing of active shorebird nests and chicks.
For current beach access information, go to: http://go.nps.gov/beachaccess. As of this morning, there are over 23 miles of oceanside beach routes available for ORV travel.
- At this time, most indoor facilities at Cape Hatteras National Seashore are closed in order to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19, consistent with federal, state, and local advisories.
- The following facilities and activities are currently closed:
- Visitor Centers and bookstores on Bodie, Hatteras, and Ocracoke islands.
- Bodie Island and Cape Hatteras lighthouse climbing
NPS Memorial Day Weekend Virtual Campout
Date: Sunday, May 24
Time: 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.
Location: Cape Hatteras NS Facebook Page
Description: National park units across the southeast are offering a special Virtual Campout hosted by Biscayne National Park during Memorial Day Weekend. Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, and Wright Brothers National Memorial are partnering to bring you a Virtual Scavenger Hunt at 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 24.
Be ready to do some digital sleuthing on park websites, share some selfie with objects you have at home, and participate in fun activities to get as many points as you can!
Memorial Day Weekend Virtual Campout hosted by Biscayne NP begins May 23rd at 3 p.m. and ends May 25th at 11 a.m. For the full schedule of events for the Virtual Campout, check out their Facebook event page.