Did you know that October 28 is Make A Difference Day?

In case you didn’t know, Make A Difference Day is the largest national day of community service. In recognition of the special day, Cape Hatteras National Seashore (Seashore) will be hosting a volunteer event Saturday, October 28, 2017. The Seashore is looking for volunteers to plant sea oats for dune restoration along Ramp 4. The drop-in event starts at 9 am and will continue throughout the day until the work is finished, or until 4 pm, whichever comes first. Meet park staff at Ramp 4.

Please park across the highway from Ramp 4 at the public boat ramp parking lot behind the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center. NC Highway 12 is a busy route with no pedestrian crosswalk. Use caution while crossing the highway.

[Info via NPS press release]

National Parks of Eastern North Carolina starting to return to normal operations after Hurricane Maria

SEPTEMBER 28, 2017

The National Parks of Eastern North Carolina will begin returning to normal operations this morning. Four out of the five parks received direct impacts from Hurricane Maria this week.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area

  • Facilities north of Oregon Inlet will reopen this morning at 9:00 am. This includes Oregon Inlet Campground and the Bodie Island Visitor Center/Off-Road Vehicle Permit Office. Bodie Island Lighthouse climbs will be available, weather permitting.
  • Facilities south of Oregon Inlet will begin to reopen to local residents this morning. The facilities will be available to non-residents once Dare and Hyde Counties lift their non-resident evacuation orders for Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands.
  • Beach access ramps will begin to reopen this morning. Updated ramp openings will be posted to the park’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/capehatterasns.

Cape Lookout National Seashore

  • Harkers Island Visitor Center will open this morning at 9:00 am.
  • Park islands and facilities will reopen tomorrow morning at 8:00 am.

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site

  • Park visitor services and facilities will reopen this morning at 9:00 am.
  • Park trails will reopen after safety assessments are conducted.

Moores Creek National Battlefield

  • The park did not receive direct impacts, so normal park operations continues.

Wright Brothers National Memorial

  • Park visitor services and facilities will reopen this morning at 9:00 am.
  • The park is preparing for a special light art event this Sunday from 5:00-10:00 pm. The public is invited to attend at no cost. [Press Release]

Ocracoke Campground Closing at Noon Ahead of Potential Hurricane Maria Impacts

According to a Cape Hatteras National Seashore press release, the Ocracoke Campground is temporarily closing at noon today. The closure is necessary to ensure the safety of visitors and staff ahead of any potential impacts from Hurricane Maria. For updated Maria forecasts, go to www.nhc.noaa.gov.

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site hosting a National Public Lands Day event on September 30

National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands. On National Public Lands Day last year, more than 200,000 volunteers and park visitors celebrated at more than 2,500 public land sites across the United States.

According to a press release, people interested in participating in National Public Lands Day may join National Park Service staff on Saturday, September 30 at Fort Raleigh National Historic Site (1500 Fort Raleigh Road, Manteo) to contribute to the volunteer efforts. Interested volunteers should meet at the park visitor center at 9:00 am and help with the removal of vegetation along the site’s roadway and trails.

Volunteers should bring leather gloves, eye protection (i.e. sunglasses), water, snacks, and bug spray. Wear appropriate clothing, including closed toe shoes, pants, and long sleeve shirts. Children under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal guardian with them.

Volunteers who participate will receive a Federal fee-free coupon (while supplies last). A fee-free coupon provides the volunteer one day of free entry to any participating federal public land, no matter the agency. Each coupon is good for one day of entrance fee or day use fees until Saturday, September 29, 2018. At some public lands, this can include accompanying passengers in a car. The coupons cannot be used for parking fees, camping, tours, or concessions.

 

Search is Underway for Missing Swimmer off Cape Hatteras National Seashore Beach

According to a Cape Hatteras National Seashore press release, at 6:24 pm on Saturday, September 9, a teenage male swimmer from out-of-state was reported missing off a Cape Hatteras National Seashore beach. The swimmer was last seen north of the jetties in Buxton, North Carolina.

The U.S. Coast Guard, Dare County Sheriff’s Office, Hatteras Island Rescue Squad, National Park Service, and Dare County EMS all responded and a search of the area was conducted using a helicopter and spotlights last night. Additional searches are being conducted today.

Last Day to Get NPS Senior Pass for $10 is Sunday, August 27

Sunday, August 27, 2017 is the last day to get the National Park Service Lifetime Senior Pass for $10. The price of the pass will go up to $80 starting on Monday, August 28.

Lifetime Senior Pass cost will go from $10 to $80 on Monday, August 28, 2017

On the Outer Banks, seniors can purchase the Lifetime Senior Pass at the Wright Brothers National Memorial entrance station, Bodie Island Visitor Center, Hatteras Island Visitor Center, Ocracoke Visitor Center, Oregon Inlet Campground, Frisco Campground, and Ocracoke Campground.

Be Careful Attempting to Access New Sandbar Off Cape Point in Buxton, North Carolina

According to a National Park Service press release, over the last two to three months, a large sandbar has formed off Cape Hatteras National Seashore (Seashore) in the Cape Point area. Due to the number of recent water rescues the Hatteras Island Rescue Squad has made between the tip of Cape Point and the sandbar, the National Park Service and Dare County are urging all park visitors to use caution when attempting to access the offshore sandbar.

The Cape Point area is a highly dynamic location that is constantly changing through both erosion and accretion of sand. Currents between Cape Point and offshore sandbars can be very strong; therefore, the Seashore does not recommend that visitors swim or wade to these areas. The life guarded beaches at Coquina Beach, Hatteras Lighthouse Beach, and the Ocracoke Day Use Area Beach are excellent choices for swimming, especially when conditions bring dangerous rip currents to the area.

If interested in accessing the new sandbar, Seashore Superintendent David Hallac states that, “traveling to the sandbar is best accomplished by experienced kayakers or paddle boarders that are using appropriate flotation and mindful of the tides and strong currents in the area.”