Beach Regulations & Bonfire Permits
The Summer Season each year is the period commencing May 15 and ending September 15.
1. The Town of Dewey Beach has a beach curfew. No persons shall be on the beach between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. during the summer season.
2. No person shall permit a dog or other animal to be on the beach between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. during the summer season.
3. No person shall engage in surf fishing when bathers are within 100 feet, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. during the summer season.
4. No person shall have a beach bonfire at any time of the year without obtaining a permit and paying the fee required by the Town of Dewey Beach Fee Schedule ($30 plus $100 cleanup fee deposit for property owners, and $50 plus $100 cleanup fee deposit for non-property owners). All fires must be extinguished and the beach cleaned up by 11:00 p.m. Clean-up is complete removal of the residue; residue is not to be buried in the sand or put in any of the trash cans either on the beach or on the streets. The clean-up fee deposit will be refunded after 1:00 p.m. the day following the fire if the cleanup is approved and the fire handled in an orderly fashion. Permits may only be obtained at the town hall 9-5 each day, Saturday and Sunday at police window, and must be paid for in cash. Only one permit will be issued for a given street-end per day; permits are issued on a first-come, first-served basis.
5. No person shall keep, anchor, maintain, or permit any boat owed or operated by him to be kept, anchored, or maintained on any public beach within the Town of Dewey Beach between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. during the summer season without the previous written consent of the Commissioners of Dewey Beach.
6. No person shall launch, land, or permit any boat owned or operated by him to be launched or landed, on or from the beach or strand of the Town of Dewey Beach between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. during the summer season.
7. No person shall be permitted to swim out to or in from a boat off the beach at any time.
8. No vehicles shall be driven on the beach during the summer season, except those operated by police, fire, emergency, town, beach concessionaires under contract, or other authorized municipal or state vehicle on official business. During the off season all vehicles must conform to the licensing and equipment as required by the State and must enter and exit at Chicago Street.
9. All volleyball activities and games shall be restricted to designated volleyball area as established by the Town of Dewey Beach.
10. Between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on weekends and holidays all sport activities involving airborne objects other than volleyball and sports involving adults or teenagers over the age of 13 shall be prohibited. The term " sports activities " shall include any physical activity which, as a result of the activity, could cause physical harm to another individual. Exempt from the provisions of this ordinance are all sports activities involving a mother and/or a father, or guardian, who is playing with a child under the age of 13.
11. No person shall use a surfboard or skimboard, or any other type of water sport device that is constructed with non-flexible material within 100 feet of bathers. Between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on weekends and holidays the use of these devices shall also be prohibited.
12. No person or persons shall be permitted in the beach or within the waters of the Atlantic Ocean contiguous to the beach within the town limits of Dewey Beach during the time period when the Captain of the Dewey Beach Patrol has declared the beach and the waters of the Atlantic Ocean contiguous to the beach unsafe for use.
13. The following are prohibited on the beach:
- Any alcoholic beverage, during the summer season.
- Drinking Funnels
- More than 3 beverage containers unless in bulk metal or hard plastic containers.
- More than 3 empty beverage or food containers. Person closet to such containers are presumed to be their owner and responsible for such containers.
No town permit is required for a bonfire on private property within the town. It should be noted, however, that both the State Fire Marshal and the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) have constraints on such activity.
The State Fire Marshal may declare a burning ban; the status of such a ban may be found by checking their web site at www.statefiremarshal.delaware.gov or by calling the local fire department at 302-227-8400 or DNREC at 302-739-9402.
DNREC's restrictions are stated on their website page "Citizen’s Guide to Open Burning."