State beaches are open daily starting on Memorial Day weekend. DEM encourages beachgoers to avoid traffic jams at entrances by pre-purchasing parking passes online
RHODE ISLAND, May 26 – PROVIDENCE, RI – Memorial Day weekend is the official kickoff to the summer beach season, and the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is encouraging residents to purchase their beach parking passes long before their visit. Beach passes can be purchased by visiting the DEM website.
All beaches in the state, except for Scarborough South State Beach, will be open daily from Saturday, May 28 through Labor Day. Once purchased, Season Passes are not effective immediately. It takes up to 24 hours during the summer months for the purchaser’s residency status to be verified in order to charge the correct fee and for the pass to be validated. DEM urges beachgoers to plan ahead and purchase their passes earlier in the week if they are going to the beach on the weekend. Individuals can purchase resident, non-resident, or senior season passes online, as well as flexible daily passes, which allow for one-day parking. As has been the case for several years, Scarborough South will not officially open until Saturday June 19; lifeguards, beach staff, concessions and restrooms will be available at that time.
“I love summer, I love going to the beach, and Rhode Island has the best beaches in the state in the world,” Gov. Dan McKee said. “While the weather forecast for opening weekend is a little uncertain, this summer promises many hot, foggy days where families and friends can come to the beach, relax, forget their worries for a few hours and enjoy.”
“Many of Rhode Islanders’ happiest memories come from friends and family on the state’s beaches, and DEM is committed to ensuring these are safe and fun experiences,” said DEM Director Terry Grey. “The opening of our beaches is always a favorite time of year. We encourage beachgoers – Rhode Islanders and out-of-state visitors – to help ease traffic and avoid the traffic jams at beach entrances by buying their parking passes well in advance before going to the beach.”
Scarborough North, Roger Wheeler, Salty Brine, East Matunuck, Charlestown Breachway, East Beach and Misquamicut state beaches will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends and holidays, weather permitting. Scarborough South in Narragansett will open daily from June 19 to August 21. After August 21, this beach will be open on weekends only until September 6. Other facilities open daily, weather permitting, from May 28 through Labor Day include Lincoln Beaches, Woods State Park, Goddard Memorial State Park, Pulaski Park, and Fort State Park. Adams. Labor Day is the last day of the season when beaches across the state will be staffed with lifeguards and rangers and restrooms will be closed and winterized for the season.
To help reduce the time beachgoers spend at entry kiosks, DEM is encouraging Rhode Islanders to purchase flexible seasonal and daily passes online or well in advance of their visit. These passes go on sale online every January. Prepaid customers can use the express lanes on the beaches for faster access. Purchasing seasonal or daily flex passes online will also help DEM keep the express lanes open, as there have been instances where the express lanes could not be used because too many people were paying to park at the gates. of entry rather than using prepaid parking passes. Express lanes are available at all beaches in the state except for East Beach, Charlestown Breachway and Salty Brine, which are single lane facilities. DEM’s parking provider uses License Plate Recognition (LPR) technology on express lanes, whereby a scan is performed on the rear license plates of prepaid customers confirming that the customer has paid to enable a fast entry. Please leave space for the car at the gate for the reader to recognize the license plate. Driving bumper-to-bumper will cause the system to fail, requiring an attendant to manually grab the plate and slowing the flow of cars. Season passes no longer require a physical pass to be placed on the windshield of vehicles, as passes are now electronically connected to an individual’s license plate.
Online daily flex passes allow beachgoers to save their payment information to their beach parking account and daily flex passes allow for one-day parking. This flexible pass is a great option if you’re not sure how many times you’ll be able to visit the beach, but want the flexibility to use the express lanes.
In addition to the online option, seasonal beach parking passes can be purchased in person at the Scarborough State Beach Overflow Lot from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Season passes are not for sale at state beach entrance kiosks. DEM urges customers purchasing day passes at the entrance counters or customers purchasing a season pass at the overflow pitch to have their cash and documents ready to present to the attendant to enable these transactions to happen quickly and efficiently. Online purchases by credit card are charged 6% transaction fee; the total for a $30 RI Resident Pass purchased online is $31.80. DEM asks customers who purchase a season pass in person at the Overflow Field to have their registration information ready to show the attendant to allow these transactions to occur quickly and efficiently. Transactions before June 1 may take 7-10 business days to be confirmed after purchase. Transactions after June 1 through Labor Day are up to 24 hours.
Daily beach parking fees (now known as flex passes when purchased online) for residents are $6 on weekdays and $7 on weekends and holidays and $10 $ weekdays and $15 weekends and holidays at Misquamicut State Beach. Season pass fees for residents are $30 and can be purchased through Labor Day. Non-resident parking is $12 weekdays and $14 weekends and holidays and $20 weekdays and $30 weekends and holidays at Misquamicut State Beach. A season pass is $60 for non-residents. A 50% discount on daily parking fees and season passes applies to seniors aged 65 and over. Fees are based solely on the vehicle registration (i.e. license plate) of each vehicle entering beach facilities or purchasing a beach parking season pass. All vehicles registered in Rhode Island will be subject to resident parking rates; non-Rhode Island plates will be subject to non-resident rates. (According to the law, a “vehicle” is defined as any equipment authorized on the road, motorized or not, duly registered for travel on the road.)
Complimentary disability passes are available for those who qualify. Please contact RI State Parks Headquarters at 401-667-6200 with questions about obtaining this pass and to schedule an appointment.
Take-Out/Take-Out Litter Policy Everyone who loves parks, beaches, and public outdoor spaces has a responsibility to keep them clean. All DEM properties have a take out/carry out waste policy. This policy has been in effect since 1992. We ask all visitors to prepare to secure their waste in their own containers and dispose of it properly when they return home. This simple measure helps minimize litter, reduce wildlife nuisance issues, and keep litter and plastics out of coastal waters. “The Entry-Exit Policy is a best practice across the country as it promotes conservation, fosters a sense of stewardship and leads to better visitor experiences,” said Director Gray.
DEM continues to accept applications for seasonal positions, including qualified lifeguards for state beach facilities. Entry-level seasonal positions are still available in many locations across the state. All lifeguard positions require certification and special training in first aid, CPR, and rescuing the elderly.
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.