Sunday, September 07, 2014

Oregon & Hatteras Inlets

On this date in 1846 a powerful hurricane brought water from Pamlico Sound rushing across the Outer Banks and into the Atlantic Ocean. It cut both Hatteras Inlet and Oregon Inlet. Over the next several years, many Ocracokers, who were ship's pilots at Ocracoke Inlet, moved to the now more navigable inlet at Hatteras.

In 1872 the Bodie Island Lighthouse was built on the northern edge of Oregon Inlet.

Photo by Pete from Wikipedia

Illustrating the dynamic nature of the Outer Banks, Oregon Inlet almost immediately began moving south at the rate of about 100 feet per year. The Bodie Island Lighthouse is now about 3 miles from the inlet. With the construction of the Herbert C. Bonner bridge in 1962 the steady southerly migration of the inlet has slowed, but sand continues to flow into the inlet from the north, causing navigation problems (and constant dredging).

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of late 19th century steamship traffic to Ocracoke, and the large Victorian hotel that accommodated the guests. You can read the article here:  


  1. Anonymous9:49 AM

    If surf fishing at Ocracoke Inlet is a mainstay and the best shelling for beachcombers is to be found on Ocracoke Inlet Why the cost to dredge the Inlet constantly when the two northern Inlets already exist for navigational purposes? Now is it not true, but for the fact the inlet is dredged access is more available because one would not have to wait for Mother nature to bring in high tide. High tide would be the non dredged time to go through the inlet but dredging allows access during low tide --- do I have this correct??

    1. I am not sure I understand this question/comment. Of course, there is always more water at the time of high tide (which varies from day to day), but Ocracoke Inlet is used regularly by commercial and sport vessels, not just by surf fishermen and beachcombers.