DEM is encouraging residents to buy their state beach pass online or in advance so they can "beach more, wait less."
PROVIDENCE – From a more expansive menu at six state beaches (East Matunuck, Misquamicut, Roger Wheeler, Scarborough North and South, and Salty Brine) to the chance to rent "sundries" such as beach chairs, umbrellas, and boogie boards, the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) wants to welcome you to the best beaches anywhere this summer.
State beaches will be open daily from Saturday, May 25, the traditional start of the summer outdoor recreation season, until Labor Day. As is typical practice, Scarborough South will not be open until Saturday, June 22; lifeguards, beach staff, and restrooms will be available at that time. To avoid traffic back-ups, DEM recommends getting to the beach early.
Non-surf beaches at Lincoln Woods State Park, Goddard Memorial State Park, the Burlingame Picnic Area, Pulaski State Park, and Fort Adams State Park will be open daily beginning Saturday, May 25, until Labor Day. There are no fees to access beaches within state parks.
Rhode Island's natural and public assets – including 8,200 acres of parkland, 1,000 campsites, 400 miles of hiking and biking trails, 200 fishing spots, 25 parks, management areas, and nature preserves, and eight saltwater beaches – are magnets, attracting more than 9 million Rhode Islanders and tourists a year. They're also an engine that add an estimated $315 million to the economy, generating nearly $40 million in state and local taxes and supporting nearly 4,000 jobs a year.
New Concessions, Offerings at State Beaches and Parks Salty's Burgers and Seafood will operate concession stands at Scarborough, Roger Wheeler, Salty Brine, East Matunuck and Misquamicut State Beaches this summer. Salty's menu features popular New England fare including breakfast items, burgers, seafood, wraps and salads made with locally-sourced ingredients whenever possible; one example is a homemade donut ice cream sandwich made from Allie's Donuts and Warwick Ice Cream. The menus will also include healthy, gluten-free, and allergy-friendly options.
Salty's will also offer a variety of retail services and sundry items at State beaches, such as beach chair and umbrella rentals at Scarborough North, Roger Wheeler, and Misquamicut. Depending on the space available at each location and customer demand, a variety of retail items will be offered for sale, including souvenirs, clothing and beach items such as sunscreen, sunglasses, boogie boards, shovels and nets, and reusable water bottles. There will be a full-scale gift shop at Misquamicut and Scarborough North; retail carts on the pavilion at Salty Brine and East Matunuck; and at Roger Wheeler, concession stands will be used for sundries.
Salty's is committed to lowering its environmental footprint by minimizing food waste and packaging and by using compostable and recyclable materials. Beverages will be sold in recyclable bottles instead of fountain machines to decrease the cups, straws, and lids that normally litter the beaches. Salty's will provide customers with a recycling opportunity at all concession locations.
DEM will continue popular events and programming such as the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals at Fort Adams State Park, Great Outdoors Pursuit, Come Clam with Me, movies in the parks, and guided hikes and walks. In addition, we will expand Governor's Bay Day to focus on plastics reduction and introduce more cohesive climate change education elements into our naturalists' programs at parks and beaches.
Season Beach Passes Now Available Online at www.riparks.com DEM would like to remind visitors that season passes will not be available at beach entrance booths on Saturdays, Sundays, or holidays and encourages residents to buy season passes online or in advance, so they can "beach more, wait less." The online purchase option is accessible at www.riparks.com. Individuals may purchase resident, non-resident, or senior season beach passes on the website. Any Rhode Islander who is eligible for a free pass must continue to obtain their pass in person at State Parks headquarters in North Kingstown.
Season passes purchased online will be mailed to the address provided when the pass was purchased and must be affixed to the outside of the windshield of the vehicle it was registered to. Customers who have bought passes but not received them in the mail may show parking lot attendants their purchase confirmation email for entry; this confirmation can be on your phone and shown to booth attendants as entry, but please have paper back-up for any service or phone issues. No confirmation requires purchase of a day pass.
In-person opportunities to buy season beach passes are available at the following locations:
o RI State Parks Headquarters, 1100 Tower Hill Road, North Kingstown, on weekdays from 9 AM to 4 PM. Beginning on May 25, passes will also be available for purchase on Saturdays from 7:30 AM to 1 PM. Weekday hours may be extended with increased demand. Please call RI State Parks at 667-6200 to confirm hours or go to www.riparks.com
o The Scarborough State Beach overflow lot located across the street from Scarborough State Beach (870 Ocean Road, Narragansett) from 9 AM to 4 PM daily, now to June 30, excluding Memorial Day weekend and holiday. Beginning July 1, passes will be sold from 9 AM to 4 PM Monday through Friday, excluding July 4.
o Entrance booths at all state saltwater beaches starting Tuesday, May 28. Season beach passes will be available for purchase at entrance booths on weekdays only from 9 AM to 4 PM.
The fee structure for the 2019 season will remain the same as last year. The daily beach parking fee for residents is $6 on weekdays and $7 on weekends and holidays. The fee for a season pass for residents is $30. Non-resident parking is $12 on weekdays and $14 on weekends and holidays. A season pass is $60 for non-residents. A 50% discount on daily parking fees and season passes applies for senior citizens 65 years and older. Fees are based solely on the vehicle registration (i.e., license plate) of each vehicle entering beach facilities. All Rhode Island-registered vehicles will be subject to resident parking rates; non-Rhode Island plates will be subject to non-resident rates. (By law, a "vehicle" is defined as any street-legal equipment, motorized or non-motorized, properly registered for over-the-road travel.)
DEM continues to accept applications for qualified lifeguards for state beach facilities. Entry level and senior lifeguard positions are still available at numerous locations throughout the state. All lifeguard positions require certification and special training in first aid, CPR, and senior lifesaving. Visit www.riparks.com for more information.
For information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandDEM or on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) for timely updates.