News

NPS updates including lifeguard funding

CAHA - Dave Hallac - 111214

David Hallec, new superinendent for Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Photo courtesy of National Park Service

Dave Hallac, who has managed the Yellowstone Center for Resources at Yellowstone National Park for the last three years, has been selected as superintendent of Cape Hatteras National Seashore and the Outer Banks Group.

Hallac, who has a master’s degree in wildlife and fisheries biology from the University of Vermont will begin in early January.
“I spent many summer vacations in the Outer Banks with my family. So I have a great appreciation for the resources and the memories that people make there,” Hallac said in a press release.

Ocracoke District Ranger Ed Fuller reported at the November Ocracoke Civic and Business Association (OCBA) meeting that the NPS believes that privately-contracted guards this summer did an excellent job.

From Memorial to Labor Day, within the 150-foot guard zone on the public beach, there were 39,610 visitors.

There were 5 minor medical issues; 1 major medical issue; 4 minor rescues and no major rescues; 1,609 advisories.

In a letter dated Oct. 14 to the OCBA, Kym A. Hall, acting Cape Hatteras National Seashore superintendent, said “We recognize that having lifeguards on the beach in Ocracoke is a priority to the community and will give it great consideration as we plan our fiscal year 2015 budget.”  Hall recently left and the CHNS is awaiting Hallac’s arrival, said Cyndy Holda, CHNS spokesperson.

In addition, a spokesman from U.S. Rep. Walter Jones’ office said the District Outreach Director, Catherine Jordan, met in November with Hall where Hall said the Park Service would again fund lifeguards at the seashore next summer.

Jones’s office recently confirmed that the NPS will fund lifeguards seven days a week, but the Cape Hatteras National Seashore superintendent’s office has not confirmed this.

Last year, former superintendent Barclay Trimble eliminated lifeguards on the three Seashore public beaches. After an outcry by citizens and help from Jones, the Seashore hired a private lifeguard firm for five days insisting on Hyde County’s financial help of $10,000 to pay for the other two days of lifeguard coverage.

Hall’s letter also addressed islanders’ concerns in June that the rebuilt public boat launch was incorrectly sloped causing boaters to submerge their rear wheels in the water before their boats were floated.

“This repair did not change the original slope of the ramp,” Hall wrote, but her office will still entertain ideas about this ramp.