Since attending a public meeting on April 28, 2010 in Raleigh NC I have decided that I must speak louder and more often about the below issue.
As a long time North Carolina resident with primary resident in Franklin County outside of the Raleigh NC area, and current property owner in Dare County, village of Avon, NC, I have enjoyed, and hope to continue to enjoy, the treasured National Seashore Recreation Area at Cape Hatteras NC. That is why I am making this public comment by May 11, 2010 or we may forever loose access to our NC outer banks beaches.
I stand in support of HR 718 and the Preserving Public Access to Cape Hatteras Beaches Act of 2009 (S.1557). This is a very important issue concerning Cape Hatteras National Seashore and Recreation Area public beach access. This bill was introduced by Senator Richard Burr on August 3, 2009, and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
My feeling is that the National Parks Service (NPS) beach closures due to birds and turtles have been historically satisfactory and the science is there to prove it. The few nesting bird pairs (and we are really talking about less than 10 total Piping Plover birds here) at these beaches have not changed in numbers significantly in decades because that sandbar is just not conducive for them anyway! This recent action is unwarranted, and frankly I find it unfounded and outlandish that our Dare County citizens and the American beach-going public have been treated in this manner for over two years now! And I am not even a local resident, so could you possibly imagine how the year-round residents and business owners on the island have been affected and how they must feel? It is truly staggering.
The public comment period, ending on 5/11/10, is rushing at us. Please, speak out in support of HR 718 and the Preserving Public Access to Cape Hatteras Beaches Act of 2009 (S.1557) which was introduced by Senator Richard Burr. Go to www.PreserveBeachAccess.org to learn more about how/where to make public comments by 5/11/10.
The recently published 800+ page DEIS document is out. The Coalition for Beach Access Group (which I support) states that the DEIS Assessment is not acceptable for these reasons in italics below:
* Pedestrian/ORV Routes -Most Restrictive Ever * Closures Due to Birds -Most Restrictive Ever * Closures Due to Turtles -Most Restrictive Ever * Night Driving -Most Restrictive Ever * Pet Activities -Most Restrictive Ever * Benefits to Resources -Negligible * Impairment to Visitor Experience -Major * Impairment to Local Economy -Major
As supporters of the Coalition for Beach Access and members of OBPA and followers of the website www.PreserveBeachAccess.org, my husband David and I share in the beliefs outlined by OBPA; that the very purpose of the DEIS as set forth in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is to protect and preserve natural and cultural resources in the federal decision making process. In the DEIS, the statement “protect and preserve natural and cultural resources” appears in the first sentence of the first page of the plan, in the Purpose of the Plan section, and numerous times thereafter. Yet, the 800 page document devotes only two paragraphs to analysis of cultural resource issues.
Why does the DEIS ignore the traditional cultural importance of surf zone access to Outer Banks communities? These published criteria clearly define the traditional use and cultural value of the Outer Banks surf zone.
Analysis of economic impact to the Seashore Villages appears to be significantly down played. Emphasis in DEIS is on the ROI-wide or county-wide level impacts
Nowhere is it clearly addressed that the overwhelming majority of negative impacts will be felt by small businesses in the Seashore Villages rather than by overall economic interests within the greater ROI.
Incomplete Data on Visitation/Business Surveys:
Economic analyses in the DEIS do not use data from the first full year of the Consent Decree (2009).
Many 2008 visitors were either unaware of the scope and breadth of Consent Decree beach closures, or had already made plans/reservations.
I say, who is wagging this tail? A bunch of lawyers who are making a bundle on the backs of the people of Cape Hatteras and their livelihood? Judge Boyle who makes up his own "overly broad" decisions as he sees fit. I believe that we must speak up and stop being intimidated by court action and stand up for fairness and common sense.
Again, I stand in support of HR 718 and the Preserving Public Access to Cape Hatteras Beaches Act of 2009 (S.1557). Mention this specifically in your public comments by May 11, 2010! Go to www.PreserveBeachAccess.org.
Feel free to make this public comment available to all.