The deadline for comments to protect Cape Hatteras National Seashore beaches for birds has been extended until September 19th.
Decades of unregulated beach driving have pushed the birds at Cape Hatteras National Seashore — a globally significant Important Bird Area — to the brink. Populations of waterbirds that nest on the Seashore's beaches, like Least Terns and Black Skimmers, plummeted 84% in just ten years from 1997 to 2007. Rare sea turtles were also suffering alarming declines. Audubon and other conservation groups successfully pushed for a temporary science-based management plan, which, in just four years, has allowed these birds and turtles to make a comeback.
Now the National Park Service is proposing new, permanent regulations for off-road vehicle use on the Seashore's beaches that jeopardize much-needed wildlife protections and put the future for birds like the Piping Plover, Least Tern, Black Skimmer, and many other shorebird species in doubt.
Submit your public comments on this proposed regulation today. Tell the National Park Service to protect the wildlife that depends upon Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The deadline to submit public comments is next Tuesday, September 6.
The proposed regulations will control what happens at Cape Hatteras for decades and set a precedent for other national parks. A balanced plan would guarantee adequate space and protections for wildlife, while still allowing responsible beach driving in some areas so that all visitors can fully enjoy this national treasure. As written, the proposed regulation does not mandate specific, science-based protections for the wildlife that depends on the Seashore. In fact, it protects ONLY the rights of off-road vehicle users to drive on large areas of the beach to the exclusion of wildlife, it treats wildlife protection as optional, and it provides few areas for families to safely enjoy vehicle-free beaches. The National Park Service needs to know that people like you support management at your national parks that safeguards wildlife from off-road driving and balances the needs of all user groups.
Tell the National Park Service that you support protection for birds, sea turtles, and other natural resources.
Thank you for taking the time to speak out on behalf of Cape Hatteras and all of our National Parks.