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Emerald Tidings - April 2021 

Follow the link to view our Emerald Tidings - April 2021 Electronic Edition 

Posted by Anna Smith Thursday, April 1, 2021 10:19:00 AM Categories: News

Beach Driving Hiatus April 2-11 

This report has been updated to reflect the beach driving hiatus is an annual occurrence that takes place around Easter, and is listed in our rules and regulations. 

Beach driving will be on hiatus from Friday, April 2-Sunday, April 11, with the exception of Beach Patrol or Emerald Isle Ocean Rescue vehicles. This is a scheduled break for ten days around Easter. 

The 2020-21 Beach Driving Season will conclude on Friday, April 30. As always, driving on the dunes or vegetative areas is strictly prohibited.

This ten-day hiatus takes place annually around Easter, and is listed in our beach driving rules and regulations. Learn more at


Posted by Anna Smith Wednesday, March 31, 2021 7:25:00 PM Categories: News

Behind the scenes of EI Lifeguard training 

Returning Emerald Isle Lifeguards have been hard at work the past three days, as they went through rigorous training to be prepared for the season ahead. This year, you will see lifeguards on the beach strand starting Thursday, April 1 and they will be there through Thursday, Sept. 30. Watch our video below for a behind the scenes look into the Ocean Rescue Program training. 

We encourage everyone to review beach safety tips annually, and to talk to our lifeguards if you have any questions. A video will be released in the coming days that explains what the various beach safety flags mean.



Posted by Anna Smith Sunday, March 28, 2021 3:40:00 PM Categories: News

Paid Beach Parking begins April 1 (UPDATED) 

Starting on Thursday, April 1, through Sept. 30, 2021, NCParking Kiosks will be in place at the Eastern and Western Ocean Regional Accesses in Emerald Isle to accept payment for parking. The video below by NCParking shows how to use these kiosks, and signage and ambassadors will be on site to assist as needed.

Patrons may also download the Passport parking app to pay for their parking spot. The second video listed below shows how to use the phone app. 

This program will run seven days a week from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. 

If you have customer service questions regarding the payment options, please call 910-515-8825.

For more information about paid beach parking, please review our Beach Parking 101 release. 


The video above shows how to use the payment kiosks for beach parking. There are two kiosks at both accesses. 


The video above explains how to use the Passport parking app to pay for beach parking in Emerald Isle. (NCParking video)

Posted by Anna Smith Sunday, March 28, 2021 7:38:00 AM Categories: News

NC relaxing some Covid-19 restrictions 

 During a Tuesday, March 23, 2021 press conference, Gov. Roy Cooper announced that some Covid-19 restrictions will be relaxed soon throughout North Carolina.

See the full press release from the State below: 

As North Carolina’s trends continue to show improvement and vaccine distribution increases with 31.7% of North Carolinians over 18 having received at least one dose of vaccine, Governor Roy Cooper announced today that the state will continue to ease some COVID-19 restrictions. Executive Order No. 204 will take effect March 26 at 5 pm is set to expire April 30 at 5 pm. The state’s general mask mandate remains in effect.

“Our fast and fair vaccine distribution and our sustained progress with the COVID-19 metrics tell us we can move forward with easing restrictions if we do it safely,” said Governor Cooper.

“We are in a promising place. With North Carolina’s COVID-19 key metrics improving and vaccinations increasing, we can responsibly use our dimmer switch approach to easing restrictions guided by science and data,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. 

Executive Order No. 204 has three general categories of occupancy restrictions: up to 100 percent capacity, 75 percent capacity, and 50 percent capacity. All businesses must continue to maintain the 6 feet of distance requirement between patrons and implement other safety protocols as they expand their capacity. 

Executive Order No. 204 will also increase mass gathering limits. The number of people who may gather indoors will increase from 25 to 50 and the number of people who may gather outdoors will increase from 50 to 100. This Order also fully lifts the restriction on the late-night sale and service of alcoholic beverages on bars, restaurants, and other establishments.

Indoors and Outdoors up to 100% Capacity, Subject to Masks and 6 ft. Social Distancing 

  • Museums and Aquariums
  • Retail Businesses
  • Salons, personal care and grooming businesses, tattoo parlors

Indoors up to 75% and Outdoors up to 100% Capacity, Subject to Masks and 6 ft. Social Distancing 

  • Restaurants 
  • Breweries, Wineries, and Distilleries
  • Recreation (e.g., bowling, skating, rock climbing)
  • Fitness and Physical Activity Facilities (e.g., gyms, yoga studios, fitness centers)
  • Pools
  • Amusement Parks

Indoors and Outdoors up to 50% Capacity, Subject to Masks and 6 ft. Social Distancing 

  • Bars
  • Movie Theaters*
  • Gaming Facilities*
  • Meeting, Reception, and Conference Spaces
  • Lounges (including tobacco) and Night Clubs
  • Auditoriums, Arenas, and other venues for live performances
  • Sports Arenas and Fields (includes professional, collegiate, and amateur

*Movie theaters and gaming facilities may operate at up to 75% capacity outdoors.

Activities and settings are lower risk when they involve interacting with fewer people, being outside, keeping masks on the entire time, keeping interactions with people short (under 15 minutes), staying physically distant, and avoiding singing, yelling, and cheering, according to public health officials.

North Carolina is continuing to see fast and fair vaccine distribution. To date, the state has administered over 4.1 million doses. Over 31.7 percent of people 18 and up have received at least one dose, and 18.8 percent are fully vaccinated. Vaccine equity efforts remain a priority, with 18 percent of first doses administered to Black North Carolinians and 8 percent to members of the LatinX community last week. 

DHHS also released updates to the K-12 guidance. Schools should return to in-person instruction to the fullest extent possible while following all public health protocols in the StrongSchoolsNC Toolkit. This update aligns with Session Law 2021-4, which Governor Cooper and bipartisan legislative leadership worked on together. Plan A has already been widely adopted across the state as districts, educators and support staff have worked hard to get students back in the classroom. The updated Toolkit no longer requires schools to do daily temperature checks and symptom screenings. Safety protocols such as masks and cleaning of high traffic areas are still required. Schools are also highly encouraged to conduct free screening testing as recommended by the CDC. (Read the updated Toolkit)

State health officials are continuing to monitor the presence of COVID-19 and its more contagious variants in North Carolina, which is why it is important to continue to have a mask mandate and continue to practice safety precautions, including the Three Ws—wear a mask, wait 6 feet apart, and wash hands often.

Posted by Anna Smith Wednesday, March 24, 2021 12:11:00 PM Categories: News

Beach nourishment update - Week of March 22-26 

Here is the latest Florence Renourishment Project - Phase III update from the Carteret County Shore Protection Office, as of Monday, March 22:

Ellis Island and Liberty Island Producing: Ready to flip the pipe tomorrow (Tuesday, March 23) at the pier.

Both hopper dredges on site (the Ellis Island and Liberty Island) are having a strong first week working in tandem after the Ellis Island arrived and started this past Tuesday (3/16) and despite having a one weather day to contend with as well. We’re scheduled to “flip the pipe” on line 2 tomorrow, which emerges on the beach just west of Bogue Inlet Pier. The Ellis Island has been serving this line since her arrival progressing west for the pipeline landing towards Sound-of-the Sea. She has almost completed this western leg (discharge is at Heverly Dr. this morning), and will start progressing East of the pipeline landing and therefore under the pier and heading towards the Black Skimmer 4-wheel Drive Access. This eastern leg will be one of the main construction zone this week. Meanwhile, the Liberty Island is pumping away on “Line 3” which emerges onto the beach near Scotch Bonnet Drive and is progressing west heading towards the Black Skimmer 4-wheel Drive Access, but obviously from the other direction than the Ellis Island and Line 2. The outfall/discharge point was in between Nina Drive and Azure Drive this morning. This is our second main construction zone for this week.

View the weekly beach nourishment updates from the Carteret County Shore Protection office, including a current work zone map, here:

This video by the Town of Emerald Isle on March 23, shows heavy equipment and machinery being moved around near the Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier. Please respect the equipment throughout this process, and remain off of the new dunes. 


Posted by Anna Smith Tuesday, March 23, 2021 5:22:00 PM Categories: News

Severe Weather Threat - Community Center closing early 

Due to the severe weather threat on Thursday, March 18, the Community Center will close at 4 p.m. 

The National Weather Service Newport/Morehead City is expected to release an updated weather briefing at 3 p.m. You can find the most up-to-date information on their website, Facebook page or Twitter.

As of 1 p.m., the severe weather threat has been downgraded from a 4 out of 5 risk, to a 3 out of 5. However, the NWS is urging everyone to not let their guard down. Strong winds, potential tornadoes and hail are all still possible with this storm system. 




Posted by Anna Smith Thursday, March 18, 2021 12:48:00 PM Categories: News

Household Hazardous Waste Recycling Event - April 10 

The following information has been published by Carteret County


The Coastal Environmental Partnership will host a Household Hazardous Waste Recycling Event for Carteret County on Saturday, April 10. This event will run from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Carteret County Health Department, 3820 Bridges Street, Morehead City.

Accepted Materials: Used motor oil, lawn and garden fertilizer and pesticides, farm pesticides, gasoline, drain openers, paint thinners, cooking oil, anti-freeze and batteries and latex and oil paints. Each vehicle will be limited to 10 gallons of paint.

Non-Acceptable Materials: Gas cylinders, explosives, ammunition, infectious, biological or radioactive wastes or commercial waste.

No mystery cans! Everything must be labeled or easily identified.

We will be following Covid-19 guidelines: You will be asked to remain in your vehicle at all times. We will remove your items from your vehicle. We will follow Social Distancing guidelines and ask you to not to put your windows down further than 4 inches. Employees and volunteers will be wearing masks.

For more information call 252-633-1564 or e-mail

Posted by Anna Smith Tuesday, March 16, 2021 2:53:00 PM Categories: News

Florence Renourishment Project - Phase III Updates 

The Florence Renourishment Project - Phase III continues along the beach strand in Emerald Isle, and work will be completed by Friday, April 30th.

Consistent project updates, as well as maps showing where the work is currently underway, can be found through the Carteret County Shore Protection Office's website. You are encouraged to check this website often for the latest renourishment news. 

You can also receive weekly Beach News updates in your email inbox by visiting this link through the County.  Here, you can register for "Beach News," as well as any other county updates you may be interested in. 

In recent weeks, the Liberty Island dredge has been working solo on this project, but starting on Tuesday, March 16th, the Ellis Island will arrive to assist with the dredging. This will allow the work to move forward quickly, and in multiple reaches. Everyone is reminded to respect the project boundary lines and to not go near the equipment. 

As the new dunes are created and waiting to be planted, all vehicular and pedestrian traffic must stay away, so as not to disrupt the project. The new dunes will be noticeably higher than the rest of the beach strand. If you are uncertain where they are, it is recommend that you walk or drive closer to the water to avoid them. The photo below, taken near The Point on Monday, March 15, shows an example of the new dunes, compared to the rest of the beach strand.


Oceanfront property owners and residents may notice their sand fencing has been removed from the old dunes. This is required for the project, and once the new dunes have been completed, including with fresh plants, sand fencing can be reinstalled.  Property owners will have to secure one of two permits to put their sand fencing in the ground. Watch our short video below, where Town Planner Josh Edmondson explains what steps you will need to take for these permits. You can call our Planning Department for more information at 252-354-8548.



Posted by Anna Smith Monday, March 15, 2021 6:03:00 PM Categories: News

Covid-19 Update: Town buildings start limited reopening 

Fortunately, indicators used to track COVID-19 infection rates and hospitalizations are on the decline. We sincerely appreciate the entire Emerald Isle community’s diligent efforts to remain safe. 

In concert with the recent announcements and changes made by the State of North Carolina, the Town of Emerald Isle will be making the following adjustments to our local operations:

ADMINISTRATION/ PLANNING: The Administration Building increased limited public access on March 15, 2021. Guests will be required to wear a mask and entry to the building will be limited to the front waiting area. The facility will continue to operate during normal business hours, weekdays from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

POLICE: The Emerald Isle Police Department will increase its limited public access on March 15, 2021. Guests will be required to wear a mask and entry to the building will be limited to the front waiting area. The facility will continue to operate during normal business hours, 7 days per week.

PARKS & RECREATION: The Parks & Recreation Community Center will open with limited public access on March 15, 2021. CDC precautions must be followed, including the wearing of face masks at all times by the public. The number of participants within the building will be limited, to meet state guidelines. Members are reminded to clean before and after themselves when using exercise equipment. Please see the video below for more information pertaining to the Community Center. 

Community Center Hours of Operation: 

Beginning March 15, 2021

Monday-Friday: 7:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

Saturday: 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.   

Sunday: Closed

FIRE/ EMS: The Emerald Isle Fire and EMS Stations will continue to provide 24/7 full service and operations. Visitors will be required to ring the doorbell and communicate with staff (outdoors). For the safety of all personnel and to maintain a continuity of operation, entrance into both structures will remain limited.

Again, thank you all for the continued strength and patience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Continue to wear a mask when in public, maintain a safe distance from others, and secure your vaccine when possible.  



Posted by Anna Smith Monday, March 15, 2021 5:51:00 PM Categories: News
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