Coalition plans coaching sessions on beach access

By on April 7, 2010

The Coalition for Beach Access has planned three sessions next week to help people comment on a draft environmental study of access to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Dare County commissioners met earlier this week to discuss how to encourage the public to get involved in the hearings. An overriding message was that speakers should focus their remarks on specifics rather than emotion and not repeat their comments at all of the hearings.

Though the county seems more inclined to support the National Park Service’s preferred alternative, it has expressed concerns about some of the specifics, including buffers that would be 1,000 meters when shorebird nesting activity is detected.

The Southern Environmental Law Center says that the preferred alternative falls short of protections needed and says a consent decree that has led to broad seasonal closures has helped populations of shorebirds. Rules under the consent decree, which settled a lawsuit that had demanded a management plan, are included as one of the alternatives in play.

An environmentally preferred alternative would be more restrictive than both.

Here is the schedule of workshops:

  • Tuesday, 6:30p.m., Buxton, Cape Hatteras Secondary School
  • Wednesday 7 p.m., Ocracoke, Community Building
  • Thursday, 6:30 p.m., Kill Devil Hills, First Flight High School

Here is the schedule of hearings:

  • Ocracoke, Monday, April 26, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Ocracoke School
  • Buxton, Monday, April 26, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Cape Hatteras Secondary School
  • Kill Devil Hills, Tuesday, April 27, 6 p.m to 8 p.m., Wright Brothers Centennial Pavilion
  • Raleigh, Wednesday, April 28, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., McKimmon Conference Center, NC State University
  • Hampton, Thursday, April 29, 6 p.m to 8 p.m., Holiday Inn and Conference Center, Mercury Boulevard

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