Rye is home to eight miles of Atlantic coastline. The Rye Beach Commission was established by the Town Ballot on March 9, 1999. Its Mission is to insure the safety, beauty, and cleanliness of our beaches. The Commission hires and oversees the lifeguards, manages the rest facilities at Cable Road and Wallis Sands Beaches, and administers its budget.
Much of the Commission’s time is spent educating and informing the beach going public about the Town’s rules which deal primarily with dogs, surfing, trash removal, and certain prohibited activities. This is accomplished through signage, newsletters, and speaking at public meetings. There are Town lifeguards on Rye’s beaches during the season, beginning in mid-June through Labor Day, on a schedule set by the Beach Commission. These Town protected beaches include: Sawyers Beach, Jenness Beach, and Wallis Sands.
In 2010, at the suggestion of Fire Chief, Skip Sullivan, a partnership between the Beach Commission and the Fire Department was initiated. The Rye Fire Department coordinates with the Commission to provide training, support, and oversight for the lifeguard program on a daily basis. This change has proven to be invaluable with regard to communication, not only among the guards, but between the lifeguards and our emergency responders in the case of emergencies.
The Beach Commission has three members with staggered three year terms. The members are appointed by the Rye Selectmen. Currently the Commissioners are Peter E. Kane (2015), Michael Labrie (2013) and Edward Mallen (2014). Telephone contact is through the Rye Fire Department at (603) 964-6411.
The meetings of the Commission are open to the public, but they are not open for public comment unless an individual requests to be added to the agenda. Residents with questions, comments, and suggestions should contact the
Commission Chairman, Michael Labrie: Wryman1@aol.com. Beach Parking stickers for residences are available at the Town Clerk’s office at the Town Hall, and proof of residency is required to obtain a sticker.