Section of Cape Point closed to protect overdue sea turtle nest

By on September 23, 2013

turtle sign

(National Park Service)

Just as fall surf fishing kicks into high gear, the National Park Service has closed a section of Cape Point to off-road vehicles to protect a sea turtle nest that has reached the 55th day of its hatch window.

Starting Monday, an area two tenths of a mile south of Ramp 44 to Cape Point was closed to vehicles but is still accessible by foot.

“The sea turtle nest was laid naturally on July 30, 2013 high on the beach near the toe of the dune,” a National Park Service statement said. “Efforts were made to find a route around the backside of the nest, but the configuration of the duneline prohibits this action.”

Depending on temperatures and weather conditions, sea turtle nests generally hatch in 50 to 55 days.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore, like several other parks along the East and Gulf coasts, has seen record numbers of nests in 2013, with a total of 252 so far.

The beach will reopen to vehicles after the eggs hatch and the nest is excavated for several days for any remaining hatchlings.

For more information on beach access, check Google Earth maps at:
www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/off-road-vehicle-use.htm or call 252.473.2111.

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