Town of Fenwick Island

Beach Rules, Regulations & Vendors

Rules & Regulations

The Town of Fenwick Island public beach runs from Lewes Street to E. Atlantic Street.  Along this stretch of beach town rules, ordinances and regulations apply.  

Alcoholic Beverages.  No alchoholic beverages are permitted on the beach from May 15 – September 15.

Animals.  No pets or other animals are permitted on the beach at anytime between May 1 – September 30.

Bonfires.  Permits are required for beach bonfires. 

  • A permit fee and deposit are required for a bonfire.
  • The deposit shall be returned ONLY if the general area of the beach where the bonfire was held is satisfactorily cleaned and restored. A bonfire deposit will be forfeited and bonfire privileges will be suspended for one year in the event the area is found to be left in an unsatisfactory condition.
  • No bonfires are permitted when a state burning ban is in effect or when wind is in an easterly direction to protect houses and sand dunes.
  • Bonfires must be safely and reasonably located at least 50’ away from any combustible item (i.e., sand fence, dune grass, buildings).
  • Bonfires are allowed on the beach after 5:00 p.m. and must be extinguished no later than 11:00 p.m. All participants must be off the beach by midnight.

Fishing.  Fishing from the beach is prohibited while lifeguards are on duty, except as permitted by a lifeguard.

Glass Containers.  Glass containers are prohibited on the beach at all times.

Parking.  All parking on Town streets and beach ends, including handicapped spaces, requires a permit from May 15 – September 15.  Such permits shall be visually displayed so that it is able to be readily seen from the street.  Permits can be obtained at the Police Department.

Sleeping.  No sleeping on any part of the beach within the corporate limits of the Town between 12:00 midnight and 8:00 a.m.

Smoking.  Smoking is prohibited on the beach.  This includes the burning, heating, inhaling or exhaling of a cigarette, cigar, pipe or other product or device that contains tobacco, herbs, weeds and/or marijuana including the use of e-cigarettes and vaporizers.

Soliciting.  Selling or soliciting on any part of the beach is not allowed unless  approved by the Town Council.

Umbrellas/Tents.  At no time shall umbrellas and beach tents be located in an area obscuring the lifeguards view of the ocean, in an area impeding lifeguards egress from a lifeguard stand, or in an area impeding access for emergency vehicles, as determined by the Lifeguard Captain or acting officer of the FIBP.

  • Umbrellas shall be no greater than 8’ in diameter and 8’ in height.
  • Tents shall be open on no less than 3 sides and shall either be a maximum of 8’ in diameter and 8’ in height, or no larger than 10’ x 10’ and 8’ in height. Grounding lines, ropes, or similar anchoring devices shall be placed within the confines of the tent. Tents shall be secured so that uncontrolled movement of the tent is restricted.  All such grounding devices shall not endanger beach patrons.  Tents must be placed a minimum of 10’ apart.
  • All tents and umbrellas are allowed on the beach from 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. only. These items, if left unattended and/or remaining on the beach during the prohibited hours, will be classified as abandoned and may be removed and discarded.
  • FIBP shall have the authority to enforce the above and also prohibit the use of umbrellas and tents in unsafe weather conditions such as high winds, storms, or high surf conditions.
  • Umbrella tips:
    • Heavier, more sturdy wooden umbrella poles (at least 1-1 ½” thick) are better than lighter and thinner aluminum poles.
    • To set up: open the umbrella, grip the top of the pole with both hands, spike the pole into the sand, and forcefully rock the pole back and forth until it is at least 18” into the sand (1/3 of the pole).
    • Tilt the canopy towards the wind (note: check the direction of the wind during the day and adjust the tilt accordingly).
    • Close the umbrella when no one is there or when the wind is strong.

Vessels. 

  • Launching or beach of non-motorized vessels from the beach is prohibited while lifeguards are on duty, except permitted by a lifeguard.
  • Launching or beach of motorize vessels is prohibted – the operation of a motorized vessel within 100 feet of the beach is prohibited.
  • Storing a boat on the beach is prohibited.
  • Any inflatable or solid floatation device deemed to be unsafe or a hazard to public safety by a lifeguard is prohibited. Unless prohibited by a lifeguard, the following devices are allowed: inflatable rafts, boogie boards, noodles, inner tubes, surfboards less than 4’ in length (with a lease attached to the rider in a nonstanding position).

Beach Rules & Regulations brochure


Beach Vendors

The Town does coordinate and manage two beach vendors:  Steen’s Beach Service rents umbrellas and chairs within Town and in the unincorporated area while Go Melvo, Inc. sells snowballs from two trailers exclusively in the unincorporated area.  Both vendors are open from 10 am to 5 pm.