Last updated on April 21, 2014 at 9:29 EDT

Barefoot Man Runs Marathon to Stop Closing of Cape Hatteras National Seashore

November 11, 2011

KITTY HAWK, N.C., Nov. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A Currituck man will run the Outer Banks Marathon BAREFOOT on Sunday November 13, 2011 to draw attention to a coalition of powerful environmental groups that seek to close the Cape Hatteras National Seashore to public access. For several years the Southern Environmental Law Center, and others led by the Defenders of Wildlife have sought to use public sympathy for endangered wildlife to garner support for beach closures along the already highly protected beaches of Hatteras Island. They have filed federal lawsuits to close the beaches and stop renovation of the only bridge to the Island; Herbert C. Bonner Bridge spanning Oregon Inlet. The NC DOT currently has a well thought out federally approved plan for bridge renovation that is the center of this controversy.

The North Carolina Outer Banks has done a phenomenal job protecting more shoreline along the east coast than any other state. Approximately 80% of this 180 mile barrier island system is either National Park, National Wildlife Refuge, State Park, or otherwise protected lands.

Andrew Wyatt will run the marathon barefoot to demonstrate that it won’t be easy to drive these salt and sun tested waterman, fisherman, surfers and small business people from their homes and livelihoods. Wyatt says, “Living on the Outer Banks is tough, but now we are under siege from a special interest group that wants to make Hatteras an uninhabited island?” Wyatt added, “What’s worse is that ‘Defenders’ has tried to exploit the devastation and human desperation created by Hurricane Irene to drive the final nails into the coffin of the ravaged Hatteras community. It is reprehensible what they are doing to the citizens here.”

Andrew Wyatt serves as CEO for the United States Association of Reptile Keepers, a trade association battling the Defenders of Wildlife in a federal rule making at US Fish & Wildlife Service that could turn over 1 million American citizens into potential felons and negatively impact $1.4 billion in safe, legal trade; costing thousands of American jobs nationwide. He has lived on the Outer Banks of North Carolina for 25 years.

SOURCE United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK)

Source: PR Newswire