Burr and Hagan applaud committee’s approval of Cape Hatteras Beach bill

Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) recently announced their approval of the progress of a bill that would give people access to Cape Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina.

The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources passed the Preserving Public Access to Cape Hatteras Beaches Act on Tuesday. The proposed bill would set rules and parameters for the National Park Service to abide by when considering limiting access to beaches.

Burr said the committee’s action was an important step forward in the effort to regain access to one of the state’s most scenic treasures.

“Our work finally gives a voice to the people of North Carolina and all those who come to see its coast while still balancing the needs of the area’s wildlife and addressing any potential environmental concerns,” Burr said. “I appreciate the support of Chairman Wyden and the input from the people of Dare County in achieving this balance, and I am confident we have reached an agreement that can pass the full Senate and become law.”

The parameters direct the NPS to coordinate with the State of North Carolina when establishing certain buffers, and allow for a public process when considering limiting access in special situations.

The proposed bill also directs the NPS to construct vehicle access points and roads as expeditiously as possible and report its progress to Congress within one year of the act becoming law.

“This compromise represents a responsible step toward restoring balance between beach access and important environmental protections,” Hagan said.