Frank Stick, Lindsay Warren and Cape Hatteras National Seashore

On August 17, 1937, the U.S. House of Representatives authorized the country’s first national seashore at Cape Hatteras.

North Carolina Congressman Lindsay C. Warren sponsored the bill that sought to preserve the distinctive barrier islands of the Outer Banks. Because support for the park waxed and waned over the years, the Cape Hatteras National Seashore was not officially established until 1953. The formal dedication ceremony was held in 1958.

The park was a long-time dream of conservationist and developer Frank Stick, who first came to the area on a fishing excursion in the late 1920s and was impressed with the pristine beaches and seemingly endless opportunities for recreation. He began lobbying for “a coastal park for North Carolina and the nation” soon after moving his family to the Outer Banks in 1929.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore, administered by the National Park Service, now includes more than 70 miles of beach from Nags Head to Ocracoke. Initial plans called for a much larger park that included portions of Roanoke and Colington Islands. More than 2 million people visit the seashore each year to enjoy its beaches, fish, swim, surf, bird watch or see one of the lighthouses−Bodie Island, Cape Hatteras and Ocracoke–that are found in the park.

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