May 8, 2018

MEMO TO:        Mayor Barber and Board of Commissioners

FROM:             Frank A. Rush, Jr., Town Manager

SUBJECT:       Adopt a Street / Adopt a Beach Program - (Summary & Suggested Motions)

The Board of Commissioners is asked to consider establishing a new “Adopt a Street” and “Adopt a Beach” program at the May 8 meeting.  The program is modeled after successful cleanup programs offered by the NC Department of Transportation and similar municipal programs, and is aimed to keeping Emerald Isle as clean and litter-free as possible. 

Town Planner Josh Edmondson will brief the Board on the new programs, and would be charged with managing the program for the Town if approved by the Board of Commissioners.  In short, the program would work as follows:

  • any interested business, organization, or group of individuals could volunteer for either program, and would make a three-year commitment, (see application, and waiver of liability)


  • the group would be required to clean the designated street or designated beach access and beach strand segment at least four times per year,


  • each street segment would be at least one mile in length, or the entire length of a particular street,


  • for the beach program, the group would clean a specific public beach access area, along with the beach strand segment immediately adjacent and to the west,


  • the Town would provide trash bags, and would also remove the filled bags upon completion of the clean-up, and


  • the Town would recognize participating groups with a small sign indicating the group’s participation, either on the street segment or near the public beach access, and a certificate of appreciation. 

All public streets and public beach accesses maintained by the Town are eligible for the new program.  NC 58 would not be included in this program (separate program managed by NCDOT), nor would private streets or beach accesses.  A volunteer group could be assigned a stretch of beach strand in front of a private subdivision.

The Town would be responsible for coordinating the clean-up areas, providing trash bags, providing safety vests, collecting the filled bags, and providing signs.  We expect the Town’s cost to be minimal, and the benefits of the program will significantly outweigh the Town’s cost and Town staff effort required.  In addition to keeping Emerald Isle’s streets and beaches clean, the program will also help to promote an overall sense of community responsibility and also likely make it easier for Town staff in the long run. 

I recommend approval of the new programs, and applaud Josh Edmondson’s efforts to develop the new program.