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

EMERALD TIDINGS - June 2021

Beach Nourishment concludes; Stay off the dunes

The Florence Renourishment Project - Phase III is completely done, thanks to the hard work of EarthBalance, who was planting along the new dunes over the past several weeks.

All oceanfront property owners are reminded they will need to contact the Town's Planning Department to receive the proper permit before installing sand fencing along the new dunes. You can contact Josh Edmondson at 252-354-3338 to ensure you have the proper permits.

The public is reminded it is illegal to walk, sit, lay or play on the dunes, and we need your help to spread the message. Watch our video below and share it on Facebook or Twitter.

Disrupting the dunes is harmful to the new plants, and the sand structures that help protect our coastline.
Remember beach safety tips this summer

Here in Emerald Isle, we are grateful to have wonderful Ocean Rescue Lifeguards and Beach Patrol officers who help keep our residents and visitors safe. However, it is important to keep your own beach safety in mind and know what to do before heading out to enjoy the sand and surf.

Knowing our beach safety flag colors is key, and keep in mind that the Town's official recommendation is that you do not enter the water at all on red flag days. Now is a great time to review our spring beach safety flag video.
Additionally, you can view our Beach Safety FAQs on the Town's website.

Click here to learn more about RIP currents, and what you should do if you get caught in one.
American Red Cross Blood Drive: June 18

Emerald Isle's upcoming blood drive is Friday, June 18th from 2-6:30 p.m. at the Community Center. Sign up today to donate blood! You can register here.

The American Red Cross has partnered with the love and support of Allison Web and Chapel by the Sea,during June to remember and honor one of their church members, Jeff Meier.

Jeff, an Electrical Engineer, started "Island Automation" in Emerald Isle in the early 90s, which grew into a successful business now located in Swansboro. Jeff served many businesses throughout North Carolina during his career. He was also committed to serving his church with a big heart and had a laugh that was from the heart along with giving a big bear hug to all. Jeff loved North Carolina and often enjoyed traveling through the state on his Harley. He was greatly loved and admired by his family, friends and coworkers. He was a recipient of blood products during his battle with cancer. The American Red Cross remembers his life with this blood drive, as we strive to serve others as Jeff did during his well-lived life.
Yard Debris Ordinance Updated; Truck Tracker live

At the May Board of Commissioners meeting, an update to the Town's yard debris ordinance was approved. Changes include:
  • Yard Debris piles must be no larger than 10 feet long, by 10 feet wide, by 4 feet high at the curbside.
  • Larger items must be less than 6 feet in length, and have a diameter less than 8 inches.
  • Leaves and grass clippings should be bagged in paper, biodegradable bags.
You can view full information about our yard debris pickup on our website, or watch the video below.
The Emerald Isle Public Works Department has rolled out technology that gives Town property owners a bird’s eye view where the yard debris trucks are along their routes. The system will allow residents to view the truck routes and see when their yard debris may be picked up by Public Works staff. Depending on various factors, such as distance traveled and the size of yard debris piles, times may vary on a weekly basis.

This new service was created by Greg Flinn, an independent contractor who has been working with the Town.

“This new system will improve our level of customer service, and will aid our staff when filing yard debris pickup reports,” said Artie Dunn, Public Works Director.

Click here to view the online truck tracker, which can be found on the Town's website.
Emerald Isle updates Covid-19 protocols

In accordance with the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Gov. Roy Cooper, the Town of Emerald Isle has fully reopening its buildings to the public, including the Community Center.

Social distancing and mask requirements are no longer required on Town property for fully vaccinated individuals. Visitors who wish to do so can continue to wear a mask or maintain a six-foot distance from others.

In May, the CDC said that fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wear a mask inside, and North Carolina officials lifted several Covid-19 precautions shortly after.

North Carolina still requires masks to be worn in childcare settings, schools and camps, as well as on public transportation, in health care settings and in correctional facilities and homeless shelters.

In accordance with state guidelines, mask requirements will remain effective for Town operated preschool, after school and summer day camp programs.
2021 Hurricane Season underway

The 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season has officially started, and you are encouraged to make your preparations before a storm arrives.

The town has released hurricane preparedness videos over the past six weeks to better educate the public on various topics that come to mind when a named storm is potentially heading our way.

  • Click here to watch first video with WCTI StormTrack 12 Meteorologist Les Still.
  • Click here to view the second video with Emerald Isle EMS about registering for the Medically Fragile list.
  • Click here to view the third video with the Emerald Isle Police Department about evacuation orders, disaster re-entry permits and online safety following a named storm.
  • Click here to watch the fourth video with Emerald Isle Fire Department that highlights key items to include in your hurricane preparedness kit.
  • Click here to view the fifth video that outlines property preparedness tips with Emerald Isle Public Works and Bogue Banks Water Corporation.
  • Click here to watch the sixth installment that explains how to sign up for CodeRed alerts, as well as where the county's evacuation routes and emergency shelters are located.

You can always find hurricane preparedness information on our website, which includes a registration form for a disaster re-entry permit, in the event you do not have one. You should have your re-entry permit on hand before a storm is coming toward North Carolina.
Sign up in advance 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. This form should be completed and submitted to Emerald Isle EMS well in advance of impending disasters.

This form is available online on the Town's website.

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.
Emerald Isle EMS Subscriptions Available

Emerald Isle EMS 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 EMS Department and expires on June 30th, 2022. There will be no refunds for cancelled or forfeited memberships.

You can register online for the subscription program or call the EMS Department at 252-354-2249 to complete the information over the phone.

There are several free subscriptions available, thanks to a generous donation by Fortitude Roofing. You can call EMS Chief David Jones at 252-354-8595 to claim one during regular business hours.

View our video below for additional information about the EMS subscriptions.
Paid Parking Underway
Paid Parking is underway at both the Eastern and Western Ocean Regional accesses and will last through September. It is in effect from 8 a.m. - 6 pm. daily, and is run through NCParkingCo.

Town property owners and long-term residents are able to obtain two free parking passes through the Police Department. You can apply online here, or at the Police Department from 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, or 9 a.m. - 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. If you have not yet applied for this permit, we encourage you to do so as soon as possible.

Visit our website to view our Beach Parking 101 release, as well as videos on how to utilize the on-site parking kiosks or the Passport Parking app.
Five Reasons to Download the Passport Parking App

Save time and skip the line when you download the Passport Parking app.

Here are five great reasons to utilize this app:
  1. Save time by paying from your phone as soon as you pull into a parking space.
  2. Skip the line at the kiosk while others are waiting to pay.
  3. You can save your vehicle information into the app, so you don't have to always plug in your license plate number every time you head to the beach.
  4. Easily pull up the parking zone number from the last time you visited the parking lot.
  5. You can add additional time to your stay, without having to leave the comfort of your beach chair. Simply pull up the app and add more time if you aren't ready to leave yet. The app will send you a notification before your original time is up.
Are you following the Town online?

The Town of Emerald Isle has a number of online platforms you can use to stay connected to the latest news and see beautiful pictures of our area. 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:

Every Friday we share pictures from the community - and we need your help. Send your best Emerald Isle pictures to Anna Smith, Public Information and Media Director, at asmith@emeraldisle-nc.org for consideration. Please include "Friday Features" in the subject line, and the name of the photographer. Or use #EmeraldIsleNC in your Instagram photos.
Meet your local EI Public Service Professionals!

Get to know our hardworking Town staff! Every Tuesday you can find our latest staff feature across our social media feeds. We appreciate all they do, and want to shine a spotlight on their accomplishments.

Here are the four employees we recognized in the past month:
Emerald Isle Zipper Lane
The North Carolina Department of Transportation completed bridge repairs in mid-April, and installed a zipper merge lane leading from The Highways 24-58 intersection onto the bridge toward Emerald Isle.

NCDOT has installed signage indicating where motorists should begin to merge.

Additional bridge work is slated for late 2021. For real-time travel information, visit DriveNC.gov or follow NCDOT on social media.
Golf Cart Safety, Rules and Regulations Class

Due to Covid-19 guidelines, the Emerald Isle Golf Cart Safety, Rules & Regulations Class is only available online. Click on the link below to learn more and save $25 off your registration/ renewal.
Please read the presentation carefully, as there will be a short test at the end. Participants must receive a score of 80% accuracy (or greater) to receive a discount of $25 off the 2021 Golf Cart Registration.
Once you submit the test, you will receive a confirmation email with your results. Please download and save your results. Then, attach the results to your online renewal application/ new application. Be sure to check the Golf Cart Safety Class Discount option on the GC application in order to upload your results and receive the $25 discount. Thank you and good luck!
Parks and Recreation Spotlight:
Emerald Isle Woods Park
 
Be sure to “stop” by Emerald Isle Woods and enjoy this beautiful site!  
 
Emerald Isle Woods Park is a 41-acre park located at 9404 Coast Guard Road. When heading west on Coast Guard Road, the entrance to the park is located on the right side of the road, just after reaching Deer Horn Dunes.
 
The park provides the following amenities: 
Floating Dock
4 Grills
Handicapped Accessible
Picnic Pavilion
Pier
Restrooms
NC Birding Trail
Walking & Hiking Trails  
A Disc Golf Course
 
Important Note: Disc Golf sets are available to check out at the Emerald Isle Parks and Recreation Community Center during normal operating hours. The sets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. All you need to do is provide is a copy of driver’s license and contact phone number as your deposit.
 
July 4th in Emerald Isle

Celebrating the birth of our great nation is a revered activity in Emerald Isle, normally capped with an exceptional fireworks display held on the 4th of July. Unfortunately, the Town of Emerald Isle made a very difficult decision this spring to forego the July 4th fireworks celebration. 
 
At the time of the decision, strict COVID-19 restrictions were in place and future limitations were unknown. The Town also faced a near $286,000 fiscal deficit, due to unavoidable COVID-19 related expenses. If Town officials engaged in the time-sensitive pyrotechnic contract on April 13, 2021, it was uncertain if the fireworks celebration could even be held.
 
In order to avoid a loss of $24,000, the Town of Emerald Isle voted to save our taxpayers money. We are thankful that COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted and greater than 50 percent of the nation is now vaccinated. 
 
Going forward, the Town Board, staff and Tourism Development Authority are working together on alternative events later in the year. 
 
We sincerely appreciate the community's understanding and pray that everyone has a joyous and safe July 4th, 2021!
two men hold a book
Tom Gill releases new book

Tom Gill, local author of five books from around the Crystal Coast, has released another children's book, Fridays are for Fish. Second in the Maddy’s Week at the Beach series, this story takes place at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. Pappy, Maddy and little sister Emily drive from their beach house at Emerald Isle to explore the world of fish and so much more. The first book, Tuesdays are for Turtles, was published last March.


The series blends family fun at the beach with an emphasis on science education.

Look for Saturdays are for Seashells in June, followed by Mondays are for Mermaids and the rest through 2021. Cut paper if the unique media used for the interior art by ECU grad and artist Debbie K. McCall of Huntersville.

Children of all ages, teachers, parents and grandparents will treasure this series.

Emerald Isle Book Store, The Atlantic Beach Book Mart, DeeGees in Morehead City and many other area stores carry Tom's books including The Bridge, Return to Emerald Isle, and Randy's Way, A Marine's Faith-based Journey with ALS. All are also on Amazon and some are found at Barnes and Noble.

Tom is available to speak pro bono to interested groups such as book clubs, churches, schools and more. Contact him at C141club@aol.com
Emerald Isle Sea Turtle Patrol Updates
Written by Valerie Rohrig

Members of the EISTP have been walking every morning since May 1st. Every days, volunteers carefully look for tracks, hoping that this is the day their zone will be the day Emerald Isle gets a nest.

There are nests in North Carolina, and the nest discoveries are moving up the coast! The photo below is a very neat representation of egg sizes for various sea turtles.

Hopefully we will soon see some of the eggs as we locate nests! As we did last year, our program will follow COVID-19 precautions sent to us from the State. We are asking all volunteers, residents and visitors to follow the guidelines set forth. Together, as a team, we can help make sure everyone is safe and we will be allowed, by the state, to continue to operate.

For information about sea turtles and the EISTP check out our website at: eiseaturtle patrol.org
You can also easily join our Facebook page from the website.
Please remember when you depart the beach to only leave your footprints behind!
CCEC announces summer rates

CCEC members will see a change in the energy charge on bills after June 1 as the co-op’s summer rate goes into effect. The summer residential rate, which is in effect until Oct. 1, is 9.98¢ per kilowatt-hour (kWh). The rate change reflects prices the co-op pays for wholesale power.
However, because wholesale power costs have been lower than expected, CCEC members will see a credit increase in the wholesale power cost adjustment (WPCA) beginning with July bills. The credit is increasing from $2.25 per 1000 kWh of electricity to $4.50 per 1000 kWh of electricity. If your monthly use is 1000 kWh, you can expect to see your bill increase 5.6%. Without the additional WPCA credit, bills would increase 8.6%. For more information, go to ccemc.com/RatesRegs.
The latest news from Bogue Banks Water Corp. 

Warmer weather is finally here, and our favorite season is upon us! We hope that each of you will be able to come and enjoy our beautiful island this summer. Please stop by and say hello while you are here. Our office is open!

We appreciate each one of you and appreciate your assistance in conserving our most valuable of resources: water! Stay safe and healthy!