Cape Hatteras National Seashore sees highest June visitation numbers in 18 years

North Carolina

CAPE HATTERAS, N.C. (WAVY) — Cape Hatteras National Seashore experienced their highest June visitation numbers since 2002, and their second-highest rates since the establishment of the Seashore in 1953.

Last month’s total visitors topped off at just under 400,000 people, an increase of almost 4 percent over June of 2019.

According to Cape Hatteras officials, 399,364 beach-goers visited the area despite coronavirus numbers peaking in the state.

However, National Parks of Eastern North Carolina Superintendent David Hallac believes beaches are an easy place to social distance and still enjoy your time.

“The ease at which it is possible to remain socially distanced on area beaches may have helped contribute to the increased visitation last month,” Hallac stated. “The Seashore offers 70 miles of undeveloped beaches for visitors to enjoy.”

Other than the virus, they want to remind visitors of safety guidelines preventing normal dangers to watch out for at the beach:

  • Check the rip current forecast before heading to the beach. Beach visitors can also sign up for ocean safety text messages by texting ‘Join OBXBeachConditions’ to 30890.
  • Practice the Three W’s – Wear a cloth face covering when social distancing cannot be maintained. Wait six feet apart in line. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Dogs off-leash is a growing problem on Seashore beaches. For your dog’s sake, please keep them on a minimum 6-foot leash.
  • Before driving on designated off-road vehicle (ORV) routes in your permitted vehicle, it is strongly recommended that tire pressure be lowered to at least 20 psi.
  • Beach equipment must not be left on beaches overnight. Items left overnight on the beach are considered abandoned and are subject to removal.

*Visitation estimates are collected by counting southbound vehicles just north of the Marc Basnight Bridge and using a multiplier to estimate the total number of passengers heading south. Those estimates are added to the number of passengers going to Ocracoke Island from Cedar Island and Swan Quarter.

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