Dear 2057 Emerald Isle Mayor,
I am sure you are wondering what Emerald Isle was like 50 or 100 years ago. As I write this in 2007 we are celebrating our 50th Birthday. I can tell you that I am very proud to be a citizen of and Mayor of Emerald Isle. The Town today is a well known “family beach” town with about 4,000 year round residents and as many as 50,000 during the summer. The summer population is made up of many second home owners, but mostly of weekly vacationers and day visitors from the surrounding area. Many of our weekly visitors return on an annual basis with their family and friends and comment that they feel like they are returning home each year when they come for their week at the beach.
We are fortunate that the sons and daughters of Emerald Isle’s Founding Fathers live in the area and are able to tell us first hand about the history of the town during those early years. From the very beginning in 1957, the Town quickly became known as a “family beach” town. That “family beach” concept has been a central theme for all elected bodies since the very beginning. In the 1960s and 1970s when there were still plenty of unoccupied lots, visitors could stop almost anywhere and have their own private beach. In the 1980s and 1990s and early 2000s as the Town became more developed, it was always a prime goal of the town to remain a “family beach” and to provide quality beach access and sound access for our visitors. Today there are three major beach access areas with parking, restroom facilities, etc. and many other smaller beach accesses; one soundside park and plans for another.
One of our major ocean accesses is the Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier owned by the Stanley Family. The Town is a leader in working with the State and other organizations in trying to make sure that a public ocean fishing pier remains in Emerald Isle forever. I sincerely hope that you are still able to experience the many positive social values of a fishing pier in Emerald Isle in 2057. Today, the fishing pier is a social gathering place, where people from all walks of life meet and mingle. Many a kid has seen their first fish caught by an angler from the pier. It is also a popular place for surfers, provides great handicapped access, provides a place for marine research, and is a great place to take an after dinner walk.
The greatest thing about our town today is the tremendous community spirit. Many of our citizens are retired or semi-retired. There are numerous non-profit organizations throughout the county and many of our citizens are active in one or more of them. Our citizens are very giving of their resources when needed by another community or cause.
Over time, the wishes and desires of citizens and property owners will change. Today our town is about 90% developed and we are seeing and anticipating significant redevelopment. As we evaluate redevelopment projects, we constantly remind ourselves of the “family beach atmosphere” and strive to maintain that concept. As we move forward, I foresee Emerald Isle remaining a popular beach destination. However it has changed over the years, I sincerely hope that your citizens and visitors in 2057 are as happy as our citizens and visitors are today.
Arthur B. Schools, Jr.
2007 Emerald Isle Mayor