Before You Beach
- Protein powder
- Gym membership
I don’t care how your body looks! It’s the beach, not the pool. You can go do your thing and nobody will pay you any attention. Just have fun! And moms – you take ALL the pictures WITH your family and friends. You will cherish those pictures more than you care about how you look since having babies.
But there is some beach etiquette that you NEED to know.
#1. Don’t touch the sand dunes!
Go to the waters edge. Now turn around. See where the land slopes up, in front of the houses? It’s the little hill that’s covered in vegetation in front of the beach houses. It’s the little slope that the beach access steps go over.
It has all the signs on it that loudly order “STAY OFF THE DUNES.”
So what’s the big deal about the dunes? They are REALLY important. The dunes provide protection to the land behind them.
North Carolina Coastal Area Management Act regulations prohibit the disturbance to vegetation or sand within the frontal or primary dune.
In the 1980, the dunes on the south end of Topsail Beach were eroded from the inlet. It’s taken twenty years to restore them.
Hurricanes frequently wipe out stretches of dunes, causing stress to all who love the island.
So we beg you, new comers, vacationers, transplants, and locals who need a reminder: stay off the dunes.
#2. If you dig, fill it back up
Digging giant holes in the sand is one of those strange things kids love to do. Then the family packs up and heads home, thinking the hole will naturally fill back in as the tide moves in and out.
- The hole can cave in. Even if it feels sturdy. It’s dangerous to dig a hole so deep you can get inside of it. In many cases, it’s been fatal. Say no to digging holes.
- Holes create obstacles for lifeguards and emergency vehicles. What if you were the one the lifeguard was coming to save? What if it was your child the emergency vehicle was speeding to? You wouldn’t want anything to slow that emergency response. Say no to digging holes.
- They cause joggers and walkers injury, as their legs twist when they unexpectedly step in the hole. Say no to digging holes.
- Sea turtles come to land to lay eggs. It’s one of the coolest things ever actually. The moms can fall in holes and get stuck. The hatched baby sea turtle can also get stuck in the holes on their way out to sea. Say no to digging holes.
The moral of the story: SAY NO TO DIGGING HOLES.
#3. Done at the beach? Take all your stuff!
I assume you’re aware that if you leave trash or cans or beer bottles on the beach, you are a jerk. I also assume you know that burying your trash in the sand makes you a big jerk.
We’ll just move on from that…
Those who visit the beach in the summer, especially those who rent a beachfront house, have a terrible tendency to leave their beach gear on the sand all day and all night.
If you leave your beach gear on the sand overnight, or even during the day, unsupervised, and it gets stolen, you probably wouldn’t be surprised. But if your umbrella gets ripped out of the sand by a gust of wind and stabs a father down the beach who was just taking an early morning run?
Well…. That’s a BIG problem.
If your beach chair is blown down the sand when the wind picks up and knocks a child into the water?
Well… That’s a BIG problem too.
Bring all the beach gear you want. You can leave it alone to take a walk or go in the ocean! But if you leave the beach – even just up the step to your beach house or beach rental – clean up your gear. Every. Single. Time.
#4. Don’t be a butt.
Smoking on the beach is just rude. There is always a breeze and that breeze will always blow the smoke hundreds of yards away to waft around families and children.
Sit almost anywhere on the beach at Topsail Island and you will spy a cigarette butt. When someone drops it out of the car window on the highway, it’s litter. And when it’s bury it in the sand at the beach, it’s STILL LITTER.
Don’t be a butt. Smoking breaks should be taken in the parking lot. Every single butt should go in the trashcans, which are conveniently located on every public beach access.
Before you beach, make note of these simple ways to keep the beach pleasant for everyone. And have a blast!