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We are a grassroots group of volunteers in Carteret County, North Carolina, dedicated to protecting our coastal environment since 1979.

Beach and Water Access Page

Public Water Access


North Carolina has a Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access Program, managed by the NC Division of Coastal Management, to "to foster, improve, enhance and ensure optimum access the public beaches and waters" for the 20 coastal counties of NC. This program establishes certain regulations concerning development, beach nourishment projects and public access, and provides funding to local governments for public access projects. The local government, however, has the primary responsibility for identifying local, neighborhood and regional accessways through its land use plan policies and local access plan.

NC Clean Marina Program

The Clean Marina program is voluntary program in NC for marina operators to help safeguard the environment by using management and operations techniques that go above and beyond regulatory requirements. Clean Marinas in Carteret County include: Town Creek Marina (Beaufort), Duke University Marine Laboratory (Beaufort), NOAA Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research (Beaufort), and Radio Island Marine Club (Beaufort). Crossroads commends these marinas for their commitment to a clean environment.

Beach and Water Access in Carteret County

The Carteret County Board of Commissioners created an Advisory Council in 2006 -- the first of its kind in NC -- called the Carteret Public Water Access Committee, to advise commissioners regarding public water access locations and facilities to serve Carteret County citizens. The group is composed of thirteen members, eight of which vote on issues. The other members represent the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, Carteret County Marine Fisheries Advisory Board, NC Department of Transportation, and county government.

The Carteret County Commissioners have shown their commitment to improve public water access by allocating $500,000 into the annual budget for water access projects. In combination with additional grants (e.g., from NC Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access Program, NC Wildlife Resources Commission), the Commission is funding new projects such as renovation of the West Beaufort access site and a new water access project on Newport River sponsored by Morehead City. Such projects include boat ramps, parking areas, fishing pier extension, etc.

The Public Water Access Committee holds meetings once a month which are open to the public. Contact the Carteret County Board of Commissioners office for times and place of meetings and further information.

This County Shoreline Access Plan (file size 20 MB) for Carteret County Parks and Recreation contains detailed information about public beach and water access sites (beach/water, boating, canoe/kayak) maintained by federal, state, and local authorities. It includes this detailed map of access sites.

Other Access links

Interactive map of outer beach access sites in NC (Division of Coastal Management)
Outer beach access sites in Carteret County (Carteret County Shore Protection Office)
Boating access and waterways in NC (those maintained by NC Wildlife Resources Commission)
NC Fishing Piers
Fishing Piers in or near Carteret County
Carteret County parks, beaches, water access (Carteret County Parks and Rec)