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Hi, and welcome to my "Editor's Blog"! In this space I'll be attempting to keep our readers informed on fast-breaking news and issues affecting our islands. Visit often. There's a lot going on!

Enjoy the Island Free Press and, even more importantly, enjoy our wonderful barrier island!!!

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What's in a name?

Friday 08 May 2009 at 07:30 am As the issue of off-road vehicle access to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore has become more contentious, the people who favor free and open access have increasingly pushed for the seashore to return to the name that Congress gave it in 1940 – the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area.

Returning to that moniker for the seashore is important to many as the environmental and ORV access groups square off on a beach driving regulation for the seashore.

At the core of this issue is the Park Service’s dual mission on the seashore to both protect the resources and accommodate the visiting public. Read More

A fish tale: Don't leave your tails on the beach

Tuesday 05 May 2009 at 4:43 pm On Sunday, April 26, a group of locals was fishing on the beach in Buxton.

Part of the group headed home, but one person decided to check out the Avon beach. In his cooler were three small sea mullet that had been caught earlier, and he was hoping to add a few more for dinner that night.

The angler had no luck in Avon and decided to clean the three small mullet before he left the beach. He threw the scraps to the begging seagulls.

The angler said a National Park Service ranger sat in his truck and watched the fish cleaning and gull feeding.  As the angler left the beach, the ranger turned on blue lights, stopped him, and gave him a written warning for leaving fish parts on the beach.

Moral of the story:  Do not clean your fish on the beach. Read More

Buxton takes a beating from beach closures

Friday 01 May 2009 at 5:31 pm Buxton businesses took a beating last summer with the extensive beach resource closures, and it looks like this summer will be a repeat of last year’s scenario.

Right now, the only beach in Buxton open to ORVs is four-tenths of a mile at Ramp 43.  It’s a cul-de-sac with two-tenths of a mile open north and south of the ramp.

A few days ago, the National Park Service closed Ramp 44, the main ramp to Cape Point, because of breeding behavior exhibited by American oystercatchers. There had been a small amount of beach open there.

Access to the Point has been closed for several weeks by closures for oystercatchers between Ramp 44 and Cape Point.

And Ramp 45, to the southwest of the Point, which was already just another four-tenths of a mile cul-de-sac was closed down last weekend.

Just four-tenths of a mile.  That’s fairly amazing.  These oystercatchers are neither endangered or threatened under federal law. They are listed as species of special concern by the state of North Carolina. Read More