Vandalism Extends Closed Beach Area

The National Park Service has expanded two closed areas on the Outer Banks because of vandalism to signs and fences that protect nesting areas for endangered birds.

Both incidents are under investigation. They were discovered Saturday on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore at beach access Ramps 23 and 27.

At Ramp 23, a barricade was broken and fencing and signs were torn down. At Ramp 27 a vehicle drove through the fencing and entered two protected areas.

The park said neither incident resulted damage to nests or chicks.

Beach closures are required by a settlement between the park service and environmental groups that sued over protection of endangered species. The agreement requires that closed areas be enlarged in the case of vandalism.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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