In 1955, the National Park Service issued a report, Our Vanishing Shoreline, and related studies calling for reservation and preservation of shoreline areas before they are lost to development. Those studies identified the Cape Fear as an important area to be so protected.
In 1967, the National Park Service prepared a report recommending National Monument status for the Cape Fear.
In 1988, the National Park Conservation Association issued a report, New Parks: New Promise, which included the Cape Fear River Delta as a potential new park.
Since the 1955 report many of the areas identified by the Park Service have indeed been preserved–the Cape Code National Seashore, Brunswick Islands in Georgia, Fire Island in New York, for example. But most shoreline areas have been lost to development. The Cape Fear has been spared, for the most part. Nothing came of the recommendation for National Monument status, but some areas have been reserved by State action.
The march of development up the coast, and increasing pressure to industrialize the Cape Fear estuary region, bring this problem back into focus. Save the Cape has initiated an investigation of the need for, and feasibility of, a Federal reservation for the Cape Fear, whether a National Seashore, National Monument, or other form of reservation for recreational use and environmental preservation. Click here for a PowerPoint presentation of the project presented at the Bald Head Island Conservancy on March 9, 2013.
A National Park Service study found that parks return four times their cost in economic benefits to the local communities. Click here for the report.