Direct Beach Access ~ Update from the Town of Oak Island

A few weeks ago, the Town of Oak Island received information they had been waiting on from the NC Division of Coastal Management (DCM). This was immediately put out in the now established Direct Beach Access Information page of the Town Website at

Since publishing that page, the Town has received input from many residents, and has combined that with further guidance from DCM to offer the following updates:

  • Stairs & Walkways: To avoid confusion, information on hardened structures has been moved to its own separate page, which is referred to and linked from the DirectAccess page, but can also be found independently at

  • Middleton → EAST: Information remains largely the same - direct access over the berms is currently not available for individual beachfront properties EAST of Middleton Ave. This is mostly due to their location within the Sea Turtle Protection Program area. Access will be provided either through shared Direct Access Pathways the Town will install (at intervals of approximately 180 feet), or one of the many public Beach Access Locations the Town provides at most street ends. Sand fencing, along with post and rope will be installed to deter walking over the berms. An interactive map showing ONLY the planned Direct Access Pathway locations has been added to the DirectAccess page, or can be viewed / shared directly at

  • Middleton → WEST: Direct Access for all beachfront properties WEST of Middleton Ave will be permitted through a single or shared pathway per residence / property, with a maximum width of six feet (6') across; as permitted by CAMA regulations. Pathways must be identified by individual property owners, through installation of either markers, flags, guide rope, AND / OR the optional use of non-permanent, slatted wooden or composite roll-out matting. If used, matting must:
    • Not be fastened or attached to any existing structures
    • Cannot use pilings or other subsurface anchors
    • Must cross directly (straight) over the top of berm
    • Cannot extend beyond the toe (base) of the berm, or the normal high tide line (whichever is more restrictive)

IMPORTANT: Walking in undesignated areas, playing, digging, cutting, or other disruptive modifications to the berm are not allowed. Access for properties not on the beachfront, will be through designated Beach Access Locations. An interactive map showing ALL of the public Beach Access Locations provided can be found on the Town Website at

The Town of Oak Island's PSA on sand dunes can be viewed here: