Cape Hatteras National Seashore temporarily expands beach closure at Buxton Beach Access

By on March 24, 2024

Photo taken on March 24 showing exposed infrastructure on the beach adjacent to the Buxton Beach Access. (CHNS)

(Cape Hatteras National Seashore)

The Cape Hatteras National Seashore (Seashore) announced on March 24 that it had expanded the size of a previously closed beach area in Buxton. The expansion closes the Buxton Beach Access, located at the end of Old Lighthouse Road, and an additional stretch of beach, due to reports of petroleum odors and sheen on the ocean water. The odors and sheen were observed by Seashore staff near a site formerly used by the Navy and Coast Guard.
Observations were reported to the National Response Center this morning and the Coast Guard’s Sector North Carolina has responded and is working with the Seashore to monitor the situation.

Approximately two-tenths of a mile of beach in front of the formerly used defense site has been closed since Sept. 1, 2023. Today’s expansion of the closure results in a closed section of beach approximately three-tenths of a mile long, starting at the southernmost beachfront home in the village of Buxton and ending at the first (southernmost) jetty.

The Coast Guard and Army Corps of Engineers have been notified about the recent observations and the Seashore will be meeting with both agencies. The Seashore will provide updated public information in the coming days.

Historical information about the former military site is located at Recent and historical photos of the site can be found in the Seashore’s Buxton Beach Access photo album.


  • Russell Blackwood

    This week’s large, wind driven swell is pushing the diesel fuel & other toxins into the ocean.
    Right now (March 25th) with the high tide & wind, the fumes & fuel in the shore break at Buxton Lighthouse beach is overpowering.
    It will take tens of millions (if not 100’s of millions) and many months (if not years) to remove this.
    And there is no telling what else will be uncovered.

    Monday, Mar 25 @ 12:34 pm
  • They Live

    Been a known issue for how many years? Wow, those watermelon (green on the outside, red on the inside) Feds are really racing down here to remediate this environmental disaster of their own making. Hey, don’t they know a turtle might get hurt! Maybe the sign and twine crew could pick up some shovels instead. As they say in Fukushima, dilution is the solution to pollution. Keep this episode in mind as they attempt to regulate affordable gas cars and many other human life enhancing things out of existence for regular people because “the environment” or “the climate.”

    Monday, Mar 25 @ 3:57 pm