HARKERS ISLAND — Boaters traveling to South Core and the Eastern shores of Shackleford Banks via Back Sound should be advised that the Coast Guard removed the navigational buoys in Barden Inlet, Cape Lookout National Seashore announced Tuesday.
Barden Inlet, the main route for both commercial ferry operations and private boaters to the Cape Lookout lighthouse and recreation area, has accumulated sand from the movement of sea currents and the shifting sea floor within the channel over time, which has reached a shallow depth less than 6 feet. As a result, the Coast Guard, following their policy of providing navigational aid to areas greater than 6 feet, has closed the area as a marked route.
Despite the channel markers being removed, the inlet is still passable. Much of the park’s daily operations use Barden Inlet and will continue to do so unless the channel becomes unsafe and impassable.
The National Park Service said it is working with federal, state and county partners in finding a solution to improve this area for future marine navigation.