HAMPTON, Va. - Starting Saturday, June 11, Fort Monroe National Monument will close North Beach on Saturdays and Sundays.
The emergency closure will be from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. and will continue until further notice.
Exceptions to the closure include the Boardwalk, which is open until 12 a.m.
The closure will not affect residents, registered guests at the nearby RV park or guests of the restaurant at Paradise Ocean Club Monday through Friday. On weekends, these people may access the beaches at Fort Monroe or Buckroe.
Officials with the National Park Service (NPS) say this closure is necessary due to ongoing safety concerns for visitors after recent incidents, including a June 5 shooting in the parking lot adjacent to the beach that left a woman injured.
"Public safety is our top priority," said Superintendent Eola Dance. "Over the past few months there have been an increased number of public disturbances in the evening hours during weekends at North Beach and in the associated parking areas. We must do our part to reduce public safety hazards and attempt to stop potential violence before it starts. As a significant place to Native American inhabitance, English Settlement, African Landing and the making of America, we must do everything in our power to provide a safe environment for visitors to enjoy this special place."
NPS rangers will work with Hampton Police officers to enforce the closure.