Contact: Bonnie Strawser - 252-473-1131
December 4, 2014
Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge Access Linked to NCDOT's Bonner Bridge Closure
Refuge Manager Mike Bryant announced today that access to Pea Island may be limited in the next few weeks due to the closure of the Bonner Bridge by the NC Department of Transportation. "The NCDOT currently has portions of NC Highway 12 closed. They will move their road block to wherever it needs to be for public and employee safety. We will cooperate with them by closing the refuge north of whatever road block they establish," said Bryant. Earlier today, the road block was located just north of Rodanthe; therefore, the refuge was closed. According to NCDOT District Engineer Jerry Jennings, the road block was being moved today to the north end of Hatteras Island. As long as the road block remains on the north end of the refuge, most of the refuge will remain open to the public. Wherever the NCDOT establishes a road block staffed by the Dare Sheriff's Department, the refuge will be closed to the public from that road block to the north.
If parts of the refuge are open to the public, visitors are reminded to be good stewards and to behave cautiously. Response time for law enforcement, as well as other emergency personnel, will likely be greater than normal. Besides routine law enforcement patrols by Refuge and National Park Service officers, refuge staff activities and presence will be limited until access via the Bonner Bridge is restored.
Until the Bonner Bridge reopens, all regularly scheduled programs are canceled, and the Pea Island Visitor Center is closed.
Portions of the refuge south of the NCDOT road block will be open. The public may enter these areas to conduct any normally-authorized refuge recreational activities. The refuge is open during daylight hours only. Vehicles, fires, and camping, are prohibited on all refuge beaches. All Refuge regulations are in effect.. Regulations may be found at http://www.fws.gov/peaisland/reg.html
The National Wildlife Refuges Visitor Center on Roanoke Island will remain open Monday through Saturday from 9am to 4pm and Sunday from noon to 4pm. Entrance to the Visitor Center is free.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 252-473-1131.