Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Date Filed: 10/18/2007 
Case Status: Closed

Defenders of Wildlife v. National Park Service

Lawsuit to compel the National Park Service to manage beach driving responsibly at Cape Hatteras National Seashore to protect the threatened piping plover, threatened and endangered sea turtles, other species of waterbirds and shorebirds, and their habitat. 

In January 2012, the National Park Service issued a final rule regulating off-road vehicle use at Cape Hatteras.  The rule contains important protections for nesting shorebirds and sea turtles. The rule designates specific areas of the seashore for ORV use, subject to resource protection needs, while setting aside other areas for a more natural pedestrian experience.  For the first time at Cape Hatteras, the rule requires ORV users to obtain a permit to drive on the beach. 

Related Documents:

Record of Decision

Final EIS

Press Release: Senators re-introduce bill (8/11/2009)

Press Release: Federal Judge Approves Agreement (4/30/2008)

Press Release: Beach Driving Negotiations Successful (4/16/2008)

Consent Decree

Consent Decree Fact Sheet

Memo for Preliminary Injunction

Motion for Preliminary Injunction

Five Things You Should Know about Beach Driving at Cape Hatteras 


National Audubon Society, Southern Environmental Law Center