Cape Cod National Seashore Superintendent George Price announces that Cape Cod National Seashore is open for operation following the intense wind, waves, and weather experienced over the course of two major storms. The Salt Pond Visitor Center in Eastham, seashore headquarters in Wellfleet, and all other offices throughout the park are open for business.
“I am grateful to all the park staff who worked during these storms,” said Price, “as well as to all the state and town employees who worked on clearing all the public roads to and from seashore facilities.”
A review of seashore facilities has determined storm damage to include the loss of stairs at Marconi Beach, damage to the stairs at Nauset Light Beach in Eastham, and substantial damage to the Herring Cove Beach north parking lot in Provincetown.
Visitors are invited to explore the trails and beaches this winter by foot, cross country skis, or snowshoe, depending on the snow conditions. Leashed pets are welcome. However, all are cautioned from getting too close to the edge of dunes or cliffs. There has been significant erosion to coastal bluffs and it is not possible to determine from above whether the cliff edge is undercut below, so what appears to be solid footing could easily give way; cliff slides are possible, and would cause great personal harm.
National Park Service staff will continue to consider how to make shoreline facilities resilient and sustainable. Until recent years, the stairs at Nauset Light and Marconi beaches only had to be replaced every three or four years; now, the stairs at Nauset Light Beach have been damaged every year for the past five years. A path to the beach that doesn’t require a large stair structure is being developed for Nauset Light Beach.
Similarly, yearly repairs to the Herring Cove Beach north parking lot have demonstrated that this 1950s-era lot is no longer a practical visitor facility. Working with the Cape Cod National Seashore Advisory Commission, seashore staff have prepared a new design for the parking lot which will be sited 125 feet farther back from the shoreline, far enough to provide beach access for a projected 50 year period. Funds have been requested for the parking lot relocation in 2018.