Record visitation to Cape Hatteras National Seashore continues; Park Service names new local science chief

Cape Hatteras National Seashore entrance at Whalebone Junction.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore continues to set new records for the number of visitors in 2021, and the trend shows no sign of stopping.

Through the first five months of this year, over 900,000 visits were recorded by the National Park Service, the most to start a single year since the seashore was founded in 1953.

316,898 visits were recorded in May alone, an increase of 53,000 over May 2019.

The Park Service determines the number of visits to the Seashore using a formula derived from the number of vehicles that drive through the Whalebone Junction entrance to the park in Nags Head and travel on the ferries to Ocracoke from Cedar Island and Swan Quarter.

Meghan Johnson [courtesy NPS]

Johnson selected as Chief of Resource Management and Science for National Parks of Eastern North Carolina

Meaghan Johnson was recently selected as the chief of resource management and science for Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Cape Lookout National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, Moores Creek National Battlefield and Wright Brothers National Memorial (National Parks of Eastern North Carolina).

Johnson grew up in Painesville, Ohio and spent most of her childhood on the Great Lakes, where she enjoyed helping her family’s charter fishing business. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Bowling Green State University and a Master of Science degree in coastal zone management from Nova Southeastern University.

In 2002, Johnson started her career with the Fish and Wildlife Service as an intern for the Florida Keys Wildlife Refuges. After serving in multiple positions with the Nature Conservancy in the Florida Keys, she worked as a fisheries biologist at Dry Tortugas National Park. In 2019, Johnson moved to the Outer Banks after being selected as the deputy chief of resource management and science for Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site and Wright Brothers National Memorial. Earlier this year, she spent four months serving as the acting chief of resource management and science for the National Parks of Eastern North Carolina.

Johnson enjoys spending time with her family near the ocean, fishing, boating, diving and hiking.

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