I have a 1961 US Dept. of the Interior pamphlet on the national seashore. To quote 'by an act of congress August 17, 1937, authorized this national seashore area and excluded eight villages from the federal area and left sizable expansion room around each to permit their independent growth as tourist centers.'
Sobering assessment Glassjaw. Unfortunately, if you utilize these and the fact that the OBX are migrating islands as evidence for limited residencial development, you are labeled some greenwing liberal nutjob who is antijobs and antiamerica. Often those accusations come from these "locals" who set up their monstrosity of a house on the oceanside instead of doing what the real locals do on the protected soundside.
the ash wednesday storm was an ocean event from a nor'easter. nags head/kdh/kitty hawk took the brunt of it.
the hurricane irene flooding was a wind driven sound water event. there was very little damage to buildings from the wind. some of the old timers in the tri-villages were the worst hit as they haven't seen flooding like this since the 1940's and were living in older houses built low to the ground.
I do have historic bloodlines going back about 350 years. They even named a city after my family. You are right about where the money comes from, and they don't care how much devastation happens as long as the profits keep rolling in and they can hang out for a week or so every summer. I OCMD is so much nicer, you should check the surf there.
If your hell bent on getting there you could take a ferry from Southport or Cedar Island to Ocracoke and then Hatteras. But if your not a resident, a home owner or a volunteer there's not much reason to tie up avenues of transportation for those or are.