|Beach Access Issues
| June 29, 2009
Two vandalism incidents result in buffer
expansion and another ramp closure
new vandalism incidents have resulted in expanded buffers at shorebird
protection areas in Cape Hatteras National Seashore – and the
closure of another ramp on Hatteras Island.
Both incidents, discovered on the morning of Saturday, June 27, are
being investigated by National Park Service law enforcement personnel
and were evaluated by park management on Monday, June 29.
One incident occurred at Ramp 23, just south of Salvo, which was
already closed to access because of shorebird protection
measures. A barricade closing the ramp to ORV use was broken and
thrown aside, and fencing and a sign were broken further down the ramp
where the closure starts.
A second incident occurred on the beach near Ramp 27, between Salvo and
Avon, where a vehicle ran through fencing, broke signs, and entered two
different resource protection closures, one north and one south of the
ramp, then turned around and exited the beach.
Neither of the incidents resulted in the destruction of nests or chicks.
The court ordered consent decree mandates that if a confirmed
deliberate act that disturbs or harasses wildlife or vandalizes
fencing, nests, or plants occurs, NPS shall automatically expand the
buffer by 50 meters on the first offense, 100 meters on the second, and
500 meters on the third.
As a result of the violations, the buffers are being expanded at both Ramp 23 and Ramp 27.
The expansions result in the closure of both ramps to all access until
shorebirds have finished using the respective areas for breeding
activities. The nearest available ORV and pedestrian access point
to the two sites is currently located at Ramp 30.
The incidents over the weekend were the fourth and fifth violations of
resources closures this year that have resulted in expanded
buffers. The first three were in March and involved vandalism in
pre-nesting closures at South Point on Ocracoke, South Beach in Frisco,
and Hatteras Inlet spit.
NPS law enforcement personnel continue to investigate these two
incidents. If anyone has information about any of these
violations, please call Dare Community Crime Line at
252-473-3111. Destruction of government property and entering a
resource closure are federal criminal violations, each subject up to a
$5,000 fine and up to six months imprisonment.
For up-to-date information on currently open or closed areas, check the
Cape Hatteras National Seashore’s Google Earth maps at: http://www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/googleearthmap.htm