Beach Tents

In the fall of 2022, Town Council adopted several revisions to the beach and dune management ordinance which impacts beach equipment set-up. Prior to these changes, stakeholder surveys and meetings were conducted to receive public input regarding tent set-ups on the beach in an effort to address numerous issues throughout Duck beaches including, but not limited to:

  • Beach equipment/ tents left on the beach overnight
  • Impacts to motorized beach patrol/ emergency vehicle access and sea turtle patrol
  • Damage to the dune area
  • Beach equipment set up prior to timeframe set forth in the Town of Duck ordinance

Beach tent/ chair, etc. setups may not occur before 6:30 a.m. and must be removed daily from the beach by 6:30 p.m. if unattended.
You must take any and all beach equipment with you when you leave the beach. Beach equipment/ tents cannot be placed on the dunes, nor be placed under beach stairs, nor placed at a community access. All equipment must be removed from the beach and dune system.
Beach equipment/ tent/ chair setups must allow for a 15- foot travel lane at the base of the dune for emergency access/ motorized beach patrol. This means you cannot set up within 15 feet of the base of the dune. Beach setups may not be any closer than 10 feet to dune vegetation OR sea turtle nest.
Tents cannot be larger than 12 feet x 12 feet nor taller than 9 feet. Guy wires cannot extend beyond the footprint of the tent. All shade structures MUST be properly secured. Stabilization tethers should be staked straight down in line with the tent legs.
The footprint of a covered tent refers to the area of ground covered by the tent.
A guy wire, also sometimes called a guy line, guy rope, or tension line, is a cord or rope attached to your tent that helps with tent stability. Guy wires are typically what you see anchored into the ground from each corner of a tent.
Two tents and/ or sunshades may be tied together provided they are perpendicular to the shore. If tents/ sunshades are parallel to the shore, they cannot be tied together, nor may they be spaced any closer than 10 feet from each other. This spacing is intended to provide access to the beach, for vacationers and emergency personnel alike.
Any unattended beach items between 6:30 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. are subject to be removed as litter and can lead to enforcement of a civil penalty pursuant to Subsection 94.99 of the Town Code. These items may include, but shall not be limited to, volleyball, badminton and tennis nets, poles, tents, chairs, cabanas, sunshades, horseshoe stakes, croquet courses, umbrellas or any other personal property items.
Changes to beach tent regulations were made for safety, and based on three years of comments, research, and the 2023 survey of stakeholders, including residents, non-resident property owners, visitors and beach equipment vendors.
Enforcement will be done by the Town of Duck Community Development Department with education by Duck Surf Rescue.