Beach Access Legislation Passes in the House of Representatives

With the first day of summer upon us, we were ecstatic to hear that the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4094, a bill to restore reasonable access to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area.

The bill, introduced by our Congressman, Walter Jones, was approved yesterday, June 19th, and passed in a 232 to 188 vote. H.R. 4094 was included in a package of bills grouped together under H.R. 2578, known as the Conservation and Economic Growth Act. The bill proposes the reinstatement of the Interim Management Plan that was in place prior to the restrictive consent decree and ORV Rule implemented by the National Park Service.

We can’t get too excited yet because before this can occur, the companion bill in the Senate needs to pass and then President Obama needs to sign it.

The 2008 consent decree imposed rigid and severe beach access restrictions that have hurt the local economy and limited the Superintendent from utilizing an active managment approach that would better help wildlife at the seashore.

Chairman Warren Judge, who testified before a Congressional subcommittee urging the passage of H.R. 4094, stated, “It will provide reasonable recreational access in a way that utilizes science based resource management for shorebirds and turtles.” Judge added, “H.R. 4094 represents a true win-win situation for both people and wildlife.”

A companion bill has been sponsored in the U.S. Senate by Senator Richard Burr and Senator Kay Hagan. Senate bill 2372 will be the subject of a Congressional hearing next week.

We are very grateful to our Congressman, Walter Jones, and all of you who have exerted time and energy to this cause. Thank you!


Beach Access for the Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House and Senate that would require the National Park Service to reinstate the Interim Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) Management Plan for Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

This was the plan that the Park Service was using to govern pedestrian and vehicular access to the seashore before a Consent Decree was signed in 2008. The Consent Decree required the Park Service to close off the majority of Cape Hatteras’ beaches during the 2008 and 2009 spring and summer seasons. Continue reading