Emerald Tidings, composed monthly by Town Manager Matt Zapp,
is the official newsletter of the Town of Emerald Isle, NC.

Emerald Isle Announces Fire-EMS Merger

On July 6th, The Town of Emerald Isle announced it will combine its Fire and EMS operations into a single department, known as the Emerald Isle Fire Department, effective by January 1, 2023.

Following more than a year of extensive data analysis by an internal Emergency Services Task Force committee and Town leadership, it was decided a combined department will be the most effective model to serve the community moving forward. Employees will be trained as both firefighters and EMTs, AEMTs or Paramedics.

“By having a sole Fire/EMS department with cross-trained personnel, we anticipate enhanced patient care and emergency call response times, the ability to have a second fulltime ambulance available year-round, and a variety of other life-saving improvements,” said Bill Walker, Fire Chief.

No existing jobs will be eliminated as a result of the merger, and all current staff will be given until July 1, 2024, to obtain needed certifications. The department will be fully staffed with 26 personnel.

The department will operate three shifts that work 48 hours on, and 96 hours off, with staff rotating between the two existing fire stations. Eight personnel will be on shift per day, with four at each station.

The daily safety operations and employees will be quartered out of Stations 1 and 2. The current EMS building, at 7604 Emerald Dr., will be utilized as administrative offices and training space.

Additional information can be found below, through two informational videos.

Sign Up for Your EMS Subscription

The Town of Emerald Isle is offering a subscription program to help offset the cost of an ambulance transport. This optional annual subscription of $50 covers the direct costs of ambulance services not paid by your insurance. The $50 covers two people: the head of household, along with one other person. You may include others living in the household for an additional $10 each. Your subscription begins two days after receipt of application, payment, and acceptance by the Town of Emerald Isle's Fire/EMS Department and expires on June 30th, 2023. There will be no refunds for cancelled or forfeited memberships.

Memberships will transfer, and provide identical coverage protection, once the Fire/EMS departments merge in 2023. Sign up today for this service.

Please note, any subscriptions done prior to June 30 have expired. This program runs with the fiscal year.

You can register online for the subscription program or call the EMS Department at 252-354-2249 to complete the information over the phone.
Beach Driving Permit Applications Now Available

Starting on August 1, beach driving permit applications for the 2022-23 season are available online at www.emeraldisle-nc.org. Permits will be available online only for the month of August, then will be available either online or in person at the Police Department, at 7500 Emerald Drive, starting in September. Please note: Vehicle decals will not be available for pickup until September 1, and you will receive a phone call or email when yours is ready.

The official beach driving season begins on Thursday, September 15th.

Watch the video below for information on the application process.
Stuff the Cruiser Through Aug. 7

You can donate school supplies to the Emerald Isle Police Department's inaugural Stuff the Cruiser event the first week of August. All items will supplement the Stuff the Bus donation drive that assists Carteret County students. 

Items can be placed inside the designated police cruiser at the EIPD, at 7500 Emerald Drive, from August 1-5. Any items that are donated August 6-7 should be brought inside the Police Department lobby. Likewise, if you wish to make a monetary donation, please bring it into the lobby and hand it to a customer service representative. 

"While law enforcement is known for protecting and serving, our department views this as an extension of serving by giving back to the community," said Michael Panzarella, Chief of Police. "Carteret County is known for its resiliency and we want to help those in need. This is our way of giving back." 
McLean-Spell Park Survey Update

For five weeks, the Town held an open public survey to garner feedback for the future of McLean-Spell Park. In addition to the surveys, which were accepted both virtually and via paper copies at the Town's Administrative Offices and Community Center, there were two virtual and one in-person stakeholder meetings. The surveys have closed at this time, and 1,238 responses were recorded by the deadline.

The Town has contracted with Summit Engineering for this project, which included the timeframe for public input.

McLean-Spell Park was purchased by the Town in May of 2018 for $3 Million. Of this purchase amount, $2,545,000 came from state and federal grants, with $600,000 in Emerald Isle taxpayer debt service. As of June 2022, $360,000 is remaining of that debt service. The Town purchased the property before a developer was able to move forward with a proposed 230+ condominiums and additional vehicular access in the area. The land was previously zoned for multi-family development and has since been restricted to pedestrian traffic only.

 McLean-Spell Park is nearly 30 acres in size. Of this existing space, up to 9.7 acres could potentially be developed for recreational activity. Two-thirds of the park, or 20 acres, will remain in the natural vegetative state.

The surveys and meetings gave the public stakeholders a chance to give their input on what they would like to see done with this space, if anything at all, aside from the existing walking trails.

An update on the survey results will be delivered at the August 9 Board of Commissioners Meeting. This meeting is available online via Facebook Live and Zoom, in addition to in-person attendance.
Register Now for the Emerald Isle Fishing Tournament

Mark your calendars for the Fourth Annual Emerald Isle Fishing Tournament on Saturday, September 17.

The Captains Party and Auction will be held on September 16th at the Islander.

Registration is now open online at www.emeraldislefishingtournament.com for this tournament, which includes two fishing categories: surf and boat.

Money raised goes toward scholarships for area high school seniors who plan to go to college to pursue some aspect of Marine Science or Technology.

Visit the tournament's website for exciting information on various prizes, registration and more.

Special thanks to the Crystal Coast Tourism Development Authority, Tractor Country, Jason Holland Mortgage Lending Team, the Reel Outdoors, and Goose Creek Marine for sponsoring this event.
Emerald Fest Concert Series Continue

Emerald Fest 2022 continues for a few more weeks, with four acts performing in August. Join Emerald Isle Parks and Recreation for this free concert series.

Grab your beach chair or blanket and enjoy weekly concerts at the Western Ocean Regional Access. These concerts are held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays. No alcohol, please.

Arrive starting at 6 p.m. for our HEROES Academy, where we present "A Slice of Safety." Join us for free pizza, swag and a brief beach safety message prior to the concert.

Mark your calendars for these upcoming Emerald Fest concerts:

  • August 4: Pamlico Joe & Clean Water Flow
  • August 11: Justin Castellano
  • August 18: Naked Knees
  • August 25: Barefoot Wade (Rescheduled event)
Community Hurricane Forum Aug. 10

The US National Weather Service Newport/Morehead City NC will hold a community forum on hurricanes on Wednesday, August 10, in the Town Board Room at 7500 Emerald Dr. This event will begin at 9 a.m., and is free and open to all. Can't make it? The presentation will also be available online at a later time to review.

They will cover the hurricane outlook for the season, preparation and safety tips related to storms, and have time for public questions at the end.

If you are an Emerald Isle resident or property owner and do not have a disaster re-entry permit, now is the time to apply for one. You can view details on our website.

The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs through November, and the best time to prepare is before a named storm.

Emerald Isle property owners should check now to ensure they have their disaster re-entry permit, and apply for one through the Police Department if they do not have one. You will be required to provide proof of residency as part of this application.

In addition, make sure your hurricane kit is fully stocked and your property is ready in the event a storm comes to North Carolina.

You can find a comprehensive emergency preparedness list and other important information on our website.
Register for the Medically Fragile List

Emerald Isle EMS provides for special medical care and/or help evacuating during disasters, including hurricanes, to those who are registered under the Medically Fragile List.

It is important to note that this form should be completed and submitted to Emerald Isle EMS well in advance of impending disasters. If you or your family member are not already on this list, please take the time today to register.

Contact Emerald Isle EMS at 252-354-2249 if you have additional questions, or would like to register with the Medically Fragile list.

Please note, this registration service was previously handled through Carteret County Emergency Services. If you previously signed up through the County, you will need to register with Emerald Isle EMS.
Now Accepting Holiday Arts & Crafts Vendor Applications

Emerald Isle Parks and Recreation is now accepting applications for Arts and Crafts vendors at the holiday fair on Saturday, December 3. 

This event is held at the Emerald Isle Community Center, at 203 Leisure Lane, from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. 

Vendor applications can be accessed here or are available at the Community Center. 

If you would like to become a vendor, or have questions, contact Drew Conekin at dconekin@emeraldisle-nc.org, or call 252-354-6350.
Junior Lifeguard Camps Successfully Completed
Three Junior Lifeguard Camps were held throughout July, where 25 participants each week learned a variety of beach and ocean safety measures through the Emerald Isle Fire Department's Ocean Rescue team.

Thank you to the E.I. Beach Patrol, a private social club, for sponsoring this year's sun shirts, water bottles, awards and pizza parties for the 75 junior guards!

Check back in Spring 2023 to register for the next round of Lifeguard Camps.
Time to Educate Yourself on Beach Safety Information

The towns of Emerald Isle, Indian Beach, Pine Knoll Shores and Atlantic Beach want you to ensure you know what the unified beach warning flag system stands for along Bogue Banks. This collaborative video explains the flag colors and what each one represents.
In addition, a video was created highlighting important rip current safety information. Both of these videos can be found predominately featured on the Town's website and social media pages.
You can find more official beach safety information on the Town of Emerald Isle website, and through the free Emerald Isle, NC app.

Thank you to our Bogue Banks neighbors for partnering with us in this safety messaging. Help us spread the word!
Beach Parking Passes Available through EIPD

Paid parking continues through September 15, and two free passes are available for Emerald Isle taxpayers. The Town's paid parking is at the Eastern and Western Ocean Regional accesses.

In addition, Handicapped/100% Disabled Vet, Purple Heart or Emerald Isle Business Owners are eligible for one free permit. Supporting documentation must be uploaded when applying for this one free permit in these categories. You must have this permit in hand before going to the access points to be eligible. Please note, due to the high volume of applications, same day service is not available.

Parking pass applications are available online, or you may stop by the Police Department at 7500 Emerald Drive to apply in person. You will need a current vehicle registration and driver’s license when applying for your permit. If you have questions, please call EIPD at 252-354-2021.

Emerald Isle taxpayers are eligible to receive two annual free parking permits that can be used at the Eastern Ocean Regional and Western Ocean Regional accesses. These parking permits will be granted only for vehicles registered in the name of the taxpayer and are non-transferable.

The permit decal must be for the current year and be permanently affixed to the driver’s side windshield. Improper placement of decals may result in paying the parking fee, confiscation or possible citation. Lost or confiscated permits will not be reissued. You are required to remove decals from previous years.

Like last year, paid parking range from $2-$4 per hour, with a maximum amount paid up to four hours. If you stay longer than this, you will only pay the four-hour price.
Golf Cart Safety, Rules and Regulations Class Online

The Emerald Isle Golf Cart Safety, Rules & Regulations Class is available online. You can find out information concerning this online class and save $25 off your registration/ renewal for 2022 by visiting our website.

To renew for your 2022 registration, you will first watch a video that explains some golf cart rules and regulations, and review the PowerPoint presentation before taking your short test to receive the $25 discount. Once you have taken the test, you will need to fill out and submit the registration application form.

Important reminder: Golf Carts are not permitted to be operated along the length of Highway 58.

Did you know that an interactive golf cart map is located on the Town's website and free Emerald Isle, NC smartphone app? This map shows where golf carts are and aren't permitted throughout the town, along with parking locations.
Stay Up To Date: Follow Us Online

The Town of Emerald Isle has a number of official online platforms you can use to stay connected to the latest news, upcoming events, our live beach and traffic cameras, and more.

You can also view the monthly Board of Commissioners meetings, which are live streamed on our Facebook page. These meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m.

Follow us on the following platforms:

On Fridays we share pictures from the community - and we need your help. Send your best Emerald Isle pictures to Anna Smith, Town Clerk/Public Information Officer, at asmith@emeraldisle-nc.org for consideration. Please include "Friday Features" in the subject line, and the name of the photographer. You can also use #EmeraldIsleNC in your Instagram photos.
Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative Information

CCEC members: Enroll in Connect to Save and receive a free smart thermostat

CCEC has expanded the benefits of its Connect to Save program by offering FREE ecobee3 lite smart thermostats to members who enroll in the program by Sept. 30. Members will receive free installation and an annual $50 incentive for participating in Connect to Save. In addition to a free smart thermostat, members can receive $50 for installing a smart water heater control on their electric water heater through the program.

After free, professional installation, the Connect to Save program will minimally adjust your thermostat during times of high energy demand. This small action multiplied across thousands of homes creates big savings on wholesale power costs, which benefits the entire cooperative membership. Since June 2020, Connect to Save has saved CCEC members more than $150,000 in wholesale power costs! The more members that participate in Connect to Save, the more we all can save!

Bogue Banks Water Corporation

BBWC's new irrigation policy went into effect June 1, 2022.

You can find details online at https://boguebankswater.com/documents/175/2022-03-09___BBWC_Irrigation_Policy_FV.pdf. These changes are designed to keep our "Quality on Tap" flowing as we endeavor to conserve and preserve our precious natural water resource.

Be sure to read this month's newsletter, enclosed in your bill, or read it on our website at boguebankswater.com. All of our newsletters contain valuable information that can answer a lot of your questions. Thank you for being our valued customer!
Emerald Isle Sea Turtle Patrol
Submitted by Valerie Rohrig

We had a very successful fundraiser July 16th and a nice turn out. We received a whooping donation total of $6651.00!

There are an amazing number of people to thank for making the fundraiser a success. Please go to our Emerald Isle Sea Turtle Patrol Facebook page for the full list.

We can't thank the Day Five Art Gallery owners Heather and Glen Lamp enough for donating the painting and opening their Business to us. Also,Thomas Peluso of Little Egret Workshop for donating the Custom made frame. Several artists also donated additional works of art to the Auction.

We had a number of local businesses donate items and gift certificates to us: Rucker Johns, Gaffers, Village Market, Fish Hut, Morehead City Marlins, The Wallace Family(1 week Rental) Pup Kake Treat, Gretchen Siebel, Jill Wilson, and a few others.

A special thank you to Liz Cox for introducing me to her friend Dwayne McDougal, whose idea turned into a big event. Liz Cox and Dwayne worked hard selling tickets, and helped organize the event, along with Heather Lamp.

As of this writing, we have 27 nests. Compared to records from past years, that puts us 9 nests behind 2019, the last big year in the 3-year cycles.

Nests have begun hatching - flippers crossed for great nest results this year!

See you on the beach!
American Red Cross Blood Drive August 19

The American Red Cross has a critical need for donations. This blood drive will be held from 1-5:30 p.m. on Friday, August 19, at the Emerald Isle Community Center, at 203 Leisure Lane.

To schedule an appointment, please contact 1800-red cross, visit www.redcrossblood.org or call Kristin Willis at 252-341-1325.