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Red White and Beach: Buy Your State Beach Parking Pass Online Today Ahead of the Holiday Weekend

PROVIDENCE, RI As the Fourth of July weekend approaches, many Rhode Islanders and out-of-state visitors will plan on visiting one of the Ocean State's world-class state beaches. The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is urging beachgoers to buy their parking passes online today to avoid getting stuck in traffic tie-ups at beach entrances this weekend. Historically, Independence Day week is the peak of the beach season and depending on the weather, tens of thousands of visitors may flock to the eight state surf beaches.

Beach parking passes can be purchased by visiting the DEM website. Once purchased, season passes do not go into immediate effect. It takes up to 24 hours during the summer months for a buyer's residency status and age to be verified to charge the correct fee and for the pass to be validated. Individuals may purchase resident, non-resident, or senior season beach passes online. For a step-by-step guide on purchasing your state beach parking pass online, click here.

"Rhode Island's spectacular state beaches are part of what makes living in the Ocean State so special, and I encourage everyone to get outside and enjoy our beautiful beaches," said Governor Dan McKee. "At the same time, I remind beachgoers that keeping our natural spaces clean is everyone's responsibility. This holiday weekend and all summer long, let's protect our natural heritage by helping keep Rhody litter free."

"We welcome everyone to enjoy swimming, relaxing, and gathering with friends and family at one of our beautiful, accessible state beaches," said DEM Director Terry Gray. "As thousands of beachgoers celebrate Independence Day at state beaches each year, we remind all visitors to have a fun and safe holiday weekend."

DEM continues to accept applications for seasonal positions including qualified lifeguards for state beach facilities. DEM has currently hired 111 lifeguards to staff state beaches and parks as the summer workforce recruitment momentum continues, following a new incentive policy this season that offers one-time sign-on and retention bonuses of $500 each, along with higher salaries. All lifeguard positions require state certification and special training in first aid, CPR, and lifesaving. Swimming accidents and drownings can occur when lifeguards are present. As always, DEM urges parents and guardians to watch their children while they're swimming or near the water. Also, DEM urges beachgoers not to enter the water if they cannot swim. Various levels of seasonal positions are still available at numerous locations throughout the state. For a complete list of seasonal employment opportunities and to apply, job seekers may click here.

DEM reminds beachgoers that RI state beaches reach capacity quickly during holiday weekends with many thousands of people going to the same beaches at the same times. For the safety and enjoyment of beach patrons, staff monitor the available space on the sand and may close parking lot entrances to prevent overcrowding, ensuring lifeguards and first responders have space to respond to water emergencies and that beach facilities can support the number of people on a given day. Closed lots may reopen as space becomes available. DEM encourages beachgoers to check the near real-time beach capacity status before heading to the beach and to be patient and courteous to others as they enter beach parking lots. If you arrive at a favorite beach and find that the beach is full, please consider visiting a different location or returning at another time of day.

To help reduce the amount of time beachgoers spend at the entry booths, DEM is urging visitors to buy a season pass online and well in advance of their visit. Prepaid customers may use the express lanes at beaches for speedier access. Purchasing a season pass online also will help DEM keep the express lanes open, as there have been past instances when the express lanes could not be used because too many people were paying for parking at the entry gates rather using pre-paid parking passes. Express lanes are available at all state beaches except for East Beach, Charlestown Breachway, and Salty Brine, which are one-lane facilities. DEM's parking vendor, LAZ Parking, uses license plate recognition (LPR) technology at the express lanes whereby a scan is taken of the rear license plates of prepaid customers confirming that the customer has paid to allow for quick entry. Please allow space for the car at the gate space for the reader to recognize the license plate. Driving bumper to bumper will cause the system to fault, requiring an attendant to manually enter the plate, and slow the flow of cars. Season passes no longer require a physical pass to be placed on vehicle windshields as passes are now electronically connected to an individual's license plate.

Along with the online option, season beach parking passes may be purchased in person at the Scarborough South State Beach overflow lot from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM Monday through Friday. Season passes are not for sale at state beach entrance booths. DEM urges customers purchasing day passes at the entrance booths or customers purchasing a season pass at the overflow lot to have their money and documents ready to show the attendant to allow for these transactions to occur quickly and efficiently. Apple Pay is also now accepted as a payment method. Online credit card purchases are charged a 6% transaction charge; the total for a $30 RI resident season pass purchased online is $31.80. DEM asks customers purchasing a season pass in-person at the overflow lot to have their registration information ready to show the attendant to allow for these transactions to occur quickly and efficiently. Transactions after June 1 until Aug. 11 take up to 24 hours to validate. The last day of in-person sales is Friday, Aug. 11.

No-cost disability beach parking passes are available for those who are eligible. Please contact RI State Parks Headquarters at 401-667-6200 for questions on how to obtain this pass and to make an appointment.

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) offers year-round service to a number of popular beaches and a seasonal "Beach Bus" express route to several South County beaches. For details on the schedules, routes, and destinations, please visit RIPTA's website.

Carry-in/Carry-Out Trash Policy Everyone who enjoys parks, beaches, and public outdoor spaces has a responsibility to keep them clean. All DEM properties have a carry-in/carry-out trash policy. This policy has been in effect since 1992. We ask all visitors to come prepared to secure their trash in their own containers and dispose of it properly when they return home. This simple measure helps minimize litter, reduces nuisance wildlife issues, and prevents trash and plastics from entering coastal waters. "The carry-in/carry-out policy is a best practice across the country because it promotes conservation, fosters a sense of stewardship, and leads to better visitor experiences," said Director Gray.

For more information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow DEM on Facebook, Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM), or Instagram (@rhodeisland.dem) for timely updates.

Related links

  • Department or agency: Department of Environmental Management
  • Online: http://www.dem.ri.gov/
  • Release date: 06-28-2023

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