WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WECT) - Wrightsville Beach town leaders are getting the word out about the newest ordinance, no smoking on the beach.
In November, Wrightsville Beach became the first beach town in the state to make smoking on the beach illegal.
The town now has signs out on every beach access reminding people not to smoke. However, enforcement has not started just yet. According to state law, in beach nourishment projects, the state actually owns the ground on which the sand lies, creating problems for enforcement.
Currently Wrightsville Beach owns the land on the beach from the dunes to the high water line. However, Kure Beach and Carolina Beach have recently been re-nourished, so technically they do not have the right to enforce no smoking on their beaches. So, those coastal communities are asking for a clarification of the ordinance.
All beach towns passed a resolution asking the state to clarify the ordinance to allow the beach towns to enforce the ban. District 19 Representative Ted Davis is currently working to get that clarification added to the bill.
Meanwhile, Wrightsville Beach is working to educate people about the new rule. Town Manager Tim Owens says they are using beach ambassadors to spread the word and putting information on the town website and brochures at local hotels.
Owens says the town doesn't plan to begin enforcement until late spring or early summer. In the meantime, they will hand out warning tickets to violators.
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