Friends from Johnston, Cranston and North Providence, rejoice! The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management announced that three state beaches in South County will be open weekends from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. starting on Saturday, May 12. Scarborough North, Roger Wheeler, and Misquamicut state beaches will be open Saturdays and Sundays, weather permitting, from May 12 until Memorial Day to accommodate early beach-goers and the sale of advance season passes. State beaches will be open daily from Saturday, May 26, the traditional start of the summer outdoor recreation season, until Labor Day. Scarborough South, however, is scheduled to open on Saturday, June 23. This beach closes on weekdays starting in mid-August.
Non-surf beaches at Lincoln Woods State Park, Goddard Memorial State Park, Burlingame Picnic Area, Pulaski State Park, and Fort Adams State Park will be open daily beginning Saturday, May 26, until Labor Day. There are no fees to access beaches within state parks.
“It’s time to get outdoors and enjoy Rhode Island’s spectacular state beaches with family and friends and create memories that will last a lifetime,” said DEM Director Janet Coit. “The opening of our world-class, state-of-the-art beach facilities is always a special time, and we invite everyone to head out to one of these incredible places to watch the waves roll in or take a walk along the water’s edge. Our state’s spectacular beaches, parks, and greenspaces are beloved by residents and tourists alike and generate millions of dollars for the local and state economy every year. ”
Rhode Island’s network of historic parks, beaches, bikeways, and recreational facilities continues to promote quality of life and attract people and businesses to locate in the state. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation generates $2.4 billion in consumer spending and supports 24,000 jobs each year. A recent study conducted by the University of Rhode Island found that State-managed recreational facilities alone contribute $311 million to the economy and support 3,700 jobs and nine million visits annually.
The fee structure for the 2018 season will remain the same as last year. The daily beach parking fee for residents is $6 on weekdays and $7 on weekends and holidays. The fee for a season pass for residents is $30 and, through September 3, will be available for purchase at state beaches. Non-resident parking is $12 on weekdays and $14 on weekends and holidays. A season pass is $60 for non-residents. A 50-percent discount on daily parking fees and season passes applies for senior citizens 65 years and older. Fees are based solely on the vehicle registration (i.e., license plate) of each vehicle entering beach facilities. All Rhode Island-registered vehicles will be subject to resident parking rates; non-Rhode Island plates will be subject to non-resident rates. (By law, a “vehicle” is defined as any street-legal equipment, motorized or non-motorized, properly registered for over-the-road travel.)
DEM continues to accept applications for qualified lifeguards for state beach facilities. Entry level and senior lifeguard positions are available at numerous locations throughout the state. All lifeguard positions require certification and special training in first aid, CPR, and senior lifesaving.
Did You Know that Scarborough State Beach in Narragansett, one of Rhode Island’s most popular and well-known beaches, has almost a half-mile (2,325 feet) of beach frontage? Almost 300,000 beach-goers – 299,885 to be exact – visited Scarborough North and South in 2016, spending a combined $29 million.
Misquamicut State Beach in Westerly welcomed 343,318 visitors spending $44.1 million in 2016, and the most out-of-town visitors (76.8%). Salty Brine State Beach and Roger Wheeler State Beach had the least out-of-state visitors, with 24.1% and 26.5 % respectively.