Cape Hatteras Nat’l Seashore – ORV Beach Closures

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Graduation Project (Piping Plover)

Originally Published on Mar 4, 2013

Documentary about the consequences of beach closings on the Outer Banks of North Carolina due to the protection of the Piping Plover.

[Admin: While I do believe in the conservation of plants and animals, sometimes our efforts to protect certain species have unintended and undesirable consequences that need to be weighed in the implementation of conservation rules and regulations.  Controversy has sportsmen and local businesses at odds with environmentalists and conservationists over how to handle beach closures.  I do not pretend to fully understand the full repercussions of recent ORV rules implemented by the National Park Service on the Outer Banks of NC, I think that this video was worth posting here as food for thought, if nothing else.  If you’re planning to make a fishing trip to the OBX, you should look into the most recent beach closures by going to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore website.  I also think the impact of this video would be stronger without the inclusion of multiple photos of fishing on boats, which is not affected by the beach closures to ORV’s.]

Current OBX Beach Access Map (as of 2/24/2014) from Cape Hatteras National Seashore website:

  • Off-Road Vehicle Regulations

    Please check here for information on how to get your Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) permit. More »

Current Interactive Beach Access Map using Google Earth

Google Earth is a virtual globe program that maps the earth by the superimposition of images obtained from satellite imagery, aerial photography and GIS 3D globe. The viewer is available for free download at Google Earth. The product is designed for use on newer computers with broadband or higher levels of connection.

Once you have downloaded Google Earth, you can click on this updated February 24, 2014 beach access map link and zoom-in to the shoreline area in which you are interested to see the current access status. The color-coded “access line” indicates the status of shoreline access at the time the map was updated and is based on recent GPS coordinates of the actual shoreline. The underlying Google Earth photo image is dated and may not accurately reflect the current location of the shoreline. Closure conditions may change in the field on short notice. On-site signage, rather than the Google Earth map, is the most accurate and current indication of what is open or closed to the public. Closed areas are clearly marked in the field with closure signs or “symbolic fencing” consisting of posts, closure signs, string and flagging tape. Knowledge of tidal changes and caution should be exercised while traveling the beaches of the park.


Please Note: As you close Google Earth, the program will ask you if you wish to save these items in My Places. To ensure that you continue to view the most current beach access map, select “Discard“.


References to non-U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) products do not constitute an endorsement by the DOI. By viewing the Google Maps API on this web site the user agrees to these Terms of Service set forth by Google.


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