Category: Coastal Reserves
Buxton Woods, one of 10 coastal reserves administered by the state Division of Coastal Management, comprises 1,007 acres on Hatteras Island between the northern border of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and N.C. 12. It is part of the largest tract of maritime forest left standing on the Carolina coast.
Division of Coastal Management and Wildlife Resources Commission staff members have cleared a variety of downed trees and other debris from the woods since Irene hit the Outer Banks August 26-27, the news release says.
Three of the state's Coastal Reserves (below) have reopened after Hurricane Irene, though the Division of Coastal Management warns visitors to be wary of downed trees. Five of the 10 Coastal Reserves were closed in anticipation of the August 27 landfall of the storm.
The Currituck Banks National Estuarine Research Reserve near Corolla, Kitty Hawk Woods Coastal Reserve in Kitty Hawk and Rachel Carson National Estuarine Research Reserve in Beaufort are open to visitors.
The Emily and Richardson Preyer Buckridge Coastal Reserve in Columbia remains closed until damage assessments are complete, as does the Buxton Woods Coastal Reserve on Hatteras Island until access to Hatteras Island is restored.
The Coastal Reserves Commission voted not to ban alcohol at its 10 sites this week, rejecting a proposal that was based on visitors trashing Masonboro Island over the 4th of July, the Wilmington Star News reports. The state Division of Coastal Management has final say.
The proposal, which would outlaw the possession and consumption of alcohol and other controlled substances on reserve property, is in line with restrictions at North Carolina's state parks and state forests.
The state's 10 coastal reserves serve as living laboratories for research, education and management, and are open for public recreation. Masonboro Island, off of Wilmington, is the largest undisturbed barrier island along the southern part of the North Carolina coast.
According to one report, trash covered a quarter-mile stretch of beach at Masonboro after the July 4th holiday this year.
While commission member Jim Leutz called the ban a knee-jerk reaction to a single problem, Rebecca Ellin, reserve program manager, said vandalism had occurred at other sites, and beer cans were found in the vicinity of those incidents.
The commission did support language banning public intoxication, the Star News said.