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Due to significant shoaling between Barden Inlet Buoy 8 and Barden Inlet Light 35, the U.S. Coast Guard is proposing to permanently discontinue 21 aids to navigation (almost all of the remaining markers in the area). Captain's licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard would be operating in "non-navigable channels" and would be subject to loss of their license should there be any kind of accident involving a ferry or tour service. In a recent meeting the U.S. Coast Guard suggested this proposal would also affect insurance rates for companies operating in the area. 

Cape Lookout National Seashore is only accessible by boat, and Barden Inlet, a federally mandated channel, is the main access. This proposal would affect National Park Service authorized ferry and tour services to over 120,000 visitors, and about 100,000 recreational boat visitors. Our authorized passenger ferry service to Cape Lookout Lighthouse and Shackleford Banks has suggested that if this happens, they would have no choice but to discontinue service to the park