Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Good Stuff On The Web And A Note About Wading To The Point

You have to love the weather out here in the ocean..you never know what you're gonna get in spite of the forecast. I'd describe the day so far but by the time I finished, it will have changed again and it would consume the entire post. Suffice it to say, at the moment its so hot and muggy that the birds quit singing.

Lots of neat stuff today about access.

When I got up this morning I went to the email thingy and had received a couple of interesting notes.

The first was a response by CCA NC. and their response to the DEIS which can be found here:

The next was a story written by longtime environmentalist and relatively anti-access author Kurt Repanshek on the National Parks Traveller website which for a change is fairly moderate though inaccurate. I have issues with his and Murray's comments. Anyway, its here:

The American Sport-fishing Association weighed in on the DEIS as well (post # 19):

And OBPA announced our newest fundraising effort:

"The OBPA (Outer Banks Preservation Association) is gearing up for its 3rd annual “Stand in the Sand” fundraiser scheduled for Friday, June 25 from noon until dark at the Fessenden Center in Buxton.

Just like the two previous events, the fundraiser will sell dinner pork and chicken barbeque dinners, and will also feature guest speakers, music, silent auction, 50/50 raffle, beach access information booths, play area for children and several local artists.
It takes a lot of man power to make this event happen and there are many different types of jobs that need volunteers to fill. To find out what you can do to help, contact Ginger at ginger3168@live.com. Many hands make light work.
Stand in the Sand is one of our largest fundraisers of the year. All the money that the OBPA raises is used to pay the all the legal challenges for maintaining reasonable beach access for everyone.
This fundraiser is always a fun-filled day for the community. Each one of us can be a part of preserving our beach heritage. The Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area is worth fighting for. Please help!"

I know its a lot of reading but reading all this stuff is the only way to get a grip on how messed up this situation really is.

And a note about access to Cape Point. The Point proper is still technically open though you cant get there unless you wade through the surf about a half mile. The rule is, you have to stay below the mean low tide line though since not one human on this planet can determine exactly where this is, your feet have to be in the water for the entire walk.
Got this from Ted Hamilton:

This from the NPS 26 Jun 2008 Beach Access Report

News on the “water boundary... See More” issue: We frequently hear the question – “Can I walk in the water around a full beach closure to access those stretches of beach that are open beyond the closure (with restricted access)?” According to the DOI Solicitor’s Office, from a legal point of view, the NPS jurisdictional boundary on the ocean shoreline, in most cases, is the mean low water mark. However, “on the ground” in the field, when it is NOT low tide, it is not clear how the public, (or the rangers who enforce the regulations for that matter) can determine the exact location of mean low tide at that precise time. For all practical purposes, unless otherwise posted*, passage by a resource closure is permitted if the closure is small enough in length for a person to see the opposite posted boundary (less than a half mile) and if one is able to walk at least knee deep in the low tide (surf) zone the entire distance and re-enter into an open area. Visitors must use their own discretion as to whether it is safe to walk this close to the pounding surf zone and if the distance passing through the closure in the surf zone is of short enough distance to the opposite closure boundary that they feel they can safely bypass the protected area of the beach. Rule of thumb: If you are on the shore, i.e., if your feet aren’t wet, within these closed areas, then you are violating the closure and are subject to the relevant penalties. Under NO circumstances are pets allowed through these areas. In addition, this is not recommended for small children.

*In some cases, there will be signs to prohibit any access past a given point. These areas will be signed accordingly with “Shoreline closed at all tides to pedestrians and ORVs.”

On paragraph 22 of the Consent Decree, it states that “NPS retains discretion at all times to enforce more protective closures or take other measures, if considered necessary, consistent with its obligations under law and this Consent Decree.” Please understand that violations of these resource closures will result in more stringent interpretation of this admittedly difficult situation. NPS staff continues to work with the Solicitors and the U.S.Attorney’s Office to come to terms with this issue. It is safe to say “when in doubt, avoid entering these areas.” Entry into clearly marked, posted protection areas is a violation of the Consent Decree and park regulations and may result in court charges.

Which means that nobody that's handicapped, such as myself, can go and fish the Point
If you're not an experienced Point "washing machine" wader, don't even go there, don't even think about it. The east facing beach has a wicked drop off this Spring. But be sure to wave at the NPS employees and our friend Derb as they ride through the closures in trucks and walk where they please.
Soundside, remember that NPS jurisdiction extends 150 feet out into the water but their signs don't, so be careful.
And Thanks Ted!
Tight Lines,

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