Today, the Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015. The bill has been forwarded to President Obama for his signature. Section 3507 within Title 30 of the bill is named the Cape Hatteras Seashore Recreational Area. This section is the same legislation known as Preserving Public Access to Cape Hatteras Beaches Act(S. 486) .
The passage of the Cape Hatteras bill represents a major milestone in our fight to properly balance visitor recreational and resource protection goals within the seashore. It has been a rocky road to navigate, and we thank our membership for their encouragement and support over the years.
We cannot overstate our gratitude to Congressman Jones, Senator Burr, and Senator Hagan for their years of undying commitment to our cause. We also thank others who have been steadfast in their support of our mission including Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia, the Dare County Board of Commissioners and particularly Commissioner Warren Judge. On multiple occasions over the past six years Commissioner Judge was called to testify before congressional committees which he always did with unmatched passion, conviction and effectiveness.
We must also thank other organizations that have been by our side throughout this effort. Most notably, the Cape Hatteras Anglers Club (CHAC) and the North Carolina Beach Buggy Association (NCBBA) have been instrumental in the formation, funding and guidance of the Cape Hatteras Access Preservation Association (CHAPA). Other organizations such as the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) have provided invaluable counsel and support over the years.
The satisfaction, relief and sense of accomplishment we feel today is tempered by the realization that much work is still ahead to execute the new law and to accomplish its objective. We believe the legislation establishes requirements and guidelines to the National Park Service that will result in reasonable regulations that will properly balance recreational access and resource protection. We look forward to working with the NPS and the new superintendent to achieve this objective.