New Oregon Inlet Kayak Launch provides water sport enthusiasts safe, accessible way to enjoy Pamlico Sound
KILL DEVIL HILLS, NC — Outer Banks Forever, the official nonprofit partner of the three Outer Banks national parks, has helped fund the first designated kayak launch at Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
Located at the south end of the Oregon Inlet Marina, the new Oregon Inlet Kayak Launch officially opened to the public during a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday, Aug. 23, that included remarks from David Hallac, Superintendent of the National Parks of Eastern North Carolina, Trip Forman, co-founder of REAL Watersports and President of the Outer Banks Forever Board of Directors, and Jessica Barnes Green, Director of Outer Banks Forever.
“Our park staff and the community had the vision for this kayak launch in 2016 during the Centennial of the National Park Service, and we are thankful that our nonprofit partner, Outer Banks Forever, could help make this project a reality,” said David Hallac, Superintendent of the National Parks of Eastern North Carolina.
While there are numerous informal sites at Cape Hatteras National Seashore from which locals and visitors can launch non-motorized watercraft, this will be the first maintained, mobility friendly kayak launch promoted by the National Park Service in the Outer Banks. The improvements at the new kayak launch include a new loading zone, additional handicap and kayak trailer parking spaces, mobility friendly access mat, cleanup of rubble and debris and new educational signage.
“This kayak launch will encourage locals and visitors to explore the coastal environment and will provide a safe way for non-motorized water sport enthusiasts to experience the beautiful Pamlico Sound,” says Jessica Barnes Green, Director of Outer Banks Forever.
The construction of the new kayak launch was made possible by the generous support of local sponsors TowneBank and Ocean Atlantic Rentals, as well as a grant from Bass Pro Shops.
Visitors and local businesses are already taking advantage of the improvements at the kayak launch.
“The new rubber launch mat and loading zone make my daily fly-fishing guide trips much simpler and efficient. I am also grateful for the extra-long parking spaces for my trailer. The improvements have brought organization and ease for myself and other local and visiting kayakers,” says Harry Meraklis with OBX on the Fly.
Outer Banks Forever continues to raise much needed funds for projects like this in all three of the Outer Banks national parks — Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site and Wright Brothers National Memorial. Learn more and find out how you can support your parks at www.obxforever.org.