Help Rebuild the Dunes with your Christmas Tree

rebuilding the dunes after storms

If you’ve been looking for a way to help save the dunes, especially after Hurricane Florence, we’ve got a simple and easy tip – help rebuild the dunes with your Christmas tree!

Help Rebuild the Dunes with your Christmas Tree

sand dunes, rebuilding the sand dunes

Still Battling Back from Hurricane Florence

There’s no hiding the fact that the last quarter of 2018 was a whirlwind for thousands of people along the Crystal Coast of North Carolina. If we all learned a lesson since Hurricane Florence, it’s how truly incredible of a community we live in. Neighbors pitched in to clean their communities, volunteers stocked and distributed household goods for those in need, and town governments got right to work hauling away debris. It’s safe to say that we’re coming into 2019 with a much stronger and resilient sense of community than ever before.

Beach Dunes Never Breached

With all that being said, the beach is still the major factor in driving tourism traffic to our coast. Even with the significant storm surge and winds, there was no reported breaching of the dunes. They did their job and stood tall to protect our properties, homes, and local businesses. It’s clear now more than ever that it’s time to rebuild these sand dunes back up to the point they were in prior to the storm. Believe it or not, but donating your Christmas tree is an excellent opportunity for you to help restore our shoreline. When left on the beach, Christmas Trees take almost an entire year to decay. Winds coming off the ocean transport blow sand up the beach, which can become caught in the branches of the trees. Hopefully, by the time the trees are decomposed, they will be buried in migrated sand, thus expanding and strengthening our sand dunes.

What You Can Do To Help Rebuild The Dunes

christmas trees used to help rebuild the dunes

Atlantic Beach Residents –

The AB Public Works Department will be picking up Christmas Trees for Dune Restoration from now until Monday, January 14th. Simply place your Christmas Trees out on your curb and they will come by to pick them up and use them to re-nourish the dunes.

Emerald Isle Residents –

Oceanfront homeowners and residents are permitted to place trees along their dunes to promote sand accretion and are welcome to do the same with any collected from their neighbors. The town asks that you please be careful to not impede on Public Access Points and vehicular accesses on the beach strand.

Other Residents –

The Bogue Banks Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation will be collecting trees at the Eastern Ocean Regional Beach Access (2701 Emerald Drive) up until Friday, January 11th. The group will distribute the trees along the dunes areas most affected by the Hurricane. If you’re unable to bring your tree to the location- send them a message on Facebook and they may be able to come out and pick it up for you.

We Appreciate You Doing Your Part to Help Rebuild the Dunes

Thank you for your help in restoring our shoreline. There are bids out for dredging and re-nourishing the entire beach within the next two years, so with your assistance, we should continue to enjoy a wide and beautiful beach strand for many years to come.

Slime Time Challenge – Raising Money for Local Organizations

Let’s Send Some Cheer to the Staff and Residents at Crystal Bluffs

Creating Bright Smiles at Crystal Bluffs

Help Us Send Some Cheerful Letters to the Staff & Residents at Crystal Bluffs

For the last month, the residents at our local rehabilitation center, Crystal Bluffs, have been without visitors. They have not been able to visit with their families, spouses, children, grandchildren and friends. One of those families affected by the new protocols to protect these residents is Allison Bernauer, one of our Realtors in our Atlantic Beach office. Allison and her mother Anita have been focusing on mailed letters and FaceTime to stay connected.
We hope that you will help make these beloved people within our community feel a part of our community. We hope that you will make them feel loved. We hope that you will take a moment of your day to say hello, write them some uplifting words, share a piece of art from your children or send them a funny joke.

About Crystal Bluffs

Crystal Bluffs provides long-term residential nursing care and short and long-term residential rehabilitation services.  Respite care for those who normally live at home is also offered as a service; this gives caregivers a period of rest.

Built in 2008, Crystal Bluffs’ 92 beds and Rehabilitation Suite are located minutes from the hospital and the medical office park.  They offer a warm, inviting, home-like and comfortable environment, with a commitment to meeting the wants, needs and wishes of all who walk through our doors.

Discover our experienced and caring staff, our activities, and our high standard for customer service in a place where we want you to feel welcome from your very first visit.

Card for Crystal Bluffs Residents and Employees

Mail your letters to:

Crystal Bluffs
ATTN: Residents and Staff at Crystal Bluffs
4010 Bridges Street
Morehead City, NC 28557


38 Letters

A letter for each day the residents at Crystal Bluffs have not had visitors from loved ones.


Allison Bernauer- Broker/Realtor with Copeland & Bernauer team at Bluewater Real Estate in Atlantic Beach, NC

    Message from Allison Bernauer

    My mother Anita and I are extremely close. In September she had a massive stroke. Our world has been turned upside down since then. She has been a resident at Crystal Bluffs in Morehead City since October and I couldn’t ask for better care for her. Everyone there is very helpful and all the residents receive personal attention and extra loving care. I have gotten to know the staff and many of the residents over the last 6 months.

    I visited my mother almost every day and many of her friends visited weekly. We felt that if we could have someone there she loved every day it would make her days a little brighter. Once Covid-19 came into the picture Crystal Bluffs was very pro-active and, as normal, thought about what was best for the residents there. They stopped visitors weeks before other places of business. I will forever be grateful for their attention to this crisis and for putting their residents and staff first. Although I was crushed and my mother was so sad, we have made it work by FaceTiming.

    Many of her friends and family have been sending cards and letters to help make her days without visitors better. She mentions these often, always with a smile on her face. My mother is lucky to have so many family and friends to care for her and send her cards but there are many people who could use some of that same love and kindness shown to them.

    Please join me and Bluewater by sending cards, kids drawings and letters of encouragement to the residents at Crystal Bluffs. I also want to personally ask you to send some to the amazing staff there thanking them for caring for our loved ones during this crisis. Together we can make someone’s day by showing love and gratitude to those that need to know that we, as a community, have not forgotten them.

    Thoughtfulness, Peace and Love is what the world needs right now…… Let’s start with our neighbors.



    Allison’s suggestions to help our local residents & staff at Crystal Bluffs

    • Write an encouraging letter

    • Send them coloring pages, cross word puzzle or word searches

    • Drop off your child’s artwork

    • Tie balloons to the outside of their windows

    • Provide a meal to the staff memebers

    Mail your letters, art & activities to:

    Crystal Bluffs
    ATTN: Residents and Staff at Crystal Bluffs
    4010 Bridges Street
    Morehead City, NC 28557

    Hearts for Essential Workers

    Hearts for Essential Workers

    A Sign of Heartfelt Gratitude

    The health care workers and essential workers are heroes during this trying time in the midst of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). While they care for their community,  families, and themselves, we cannot thank them enough for all they do.

    They are working around-the-clock to take care of and provide for the community they love and care so deeply for.

    Now is the time to show how much we appreciate their hard work!

    How to Participate
    1. Find paper or a similar material for your hearts (construction paper, old cards, tissue paper, cardboard, and so on)
    2. Cut material into hearts of any size, and shape then decorate with family and friends (your quaran-team)
    3. Tape your hearts to front windows, doors, mailboxes, etc.

    Show your love for these hard workers during this difficult time as they drive to and from their own homes to the front line everyday!



    You may have seen the #heartsforhealthcareworkers on your social media feeds recently.

    Here at Bluewater, our staff and families are displaying hearts for the healthcare workers as well as all the essential workers out there.

    Please join us in this movement!

    Tag us in your heart display photos!

    Bluewater Real Estate and Vacation Rentals | Displaying Hearts

    Marketing Manager, Jordan D. Displaying Hearts

    COVID Hearts on windows for essential workers

    Carteret County Schools Delivering Breakfast and Lunch While School's Closed

    Carteret County Schools Delivering Breakfast and Lunch While School’s Closed

    Carteret County Schools Delivering Breakfast and Lunch While School’s Closed for COVID-19

    Carteret County Schools Deliver Meals

    While Carteret County schools have been closed due to the worldwide concern of COVID-19, school cafeterias have not closed. Carteret County Schools are delivering meals, wellbalanced breakfast and lunch for county kids. In an initiative to ensure all schoolaged kids are provided their school meals each day – elementary schools across Carteret County are providing meals and meal deliveries.

    Meals have been served and will continue to be served at Beaufort Middle, Bogue Sound Elementary, Morehead Primary, Newport Elementary, Smyrna Elementary, and White Oak Elementary from 11 AM to 1 PM on weekdays.

    In addition to the meals being served at the schools, they are enlisting the elementary buses to deliver 2 meals on weekdays and 6 meals on Fridays. The elementary buses will be driving their normal routes delivering both lunch and breakfast at each stop on weekdays.

    Parents are encouraged to use the “Here Comes the Bus” app to view the bus schedule and know when the bus will be arriving to their neighborhood stop for meal delivery. Parents of Middle and High School students will need to partner with an elementary neighbor to learn the bus delivery time as the “Here Come the Bus” app will only report to the elementary routes.

    The Carteret County public schools announced they they served over 4,800 meals on Friday, March 20, 2020.

    A special thanks to all those teachers, bus drivers and Child Nutrition Staff for all your hard work to reach these children, some of them who rely on their school provided lunch each day. This is an incredible thing for our kids to look forward to each day!

    The Carteret County Public Schools System will continue to monitor and adjust plans accordingly to continue in improving the process. Carteret County schools have been providing meals while the schools are closed. Schools are not plan to open until mid May at this time. 

    Carteret County Schools Delivering Breakfast and Lunch While School's Closed

    Here comes the bus app

    Carteret County Schools Delivering Breakfast and Lunch
    here comes the bus app

    Operation Christmas Child

    Operation Christmas Child

    As a part of the Bluewater Annual Tradition, we partook in another year of Operation Christmas Child. With 4 year old, Macon, leading the charge! She put together 22 boxes filled with toys for boys & girls to open on Christmas Day this holiday season. Bluewater as a whole, put together 48 boxes for Operation Christmas Child. We thank all those who helped and worked to make this year the best one yet!

    If you would like to Build a Shoebox for a child in need, click below to find out how to get started!

    Property Damage Relief Workshop Recap

    Hurricane Florence Property Damage Relief- Recap

    We just want to give a Huge THANK YOU to all of the vendors we had speak at our Property Damage Relief Workshop on Saturday, February 23rd. We appreciate all of your support, and are grateful for the opportunity to organize such an impactful event for our community. To all of the attendees who took time out of their schedules to learn with us- We wish you all the best of luck, and encourage you to reach out to us, or any of the speakers for more advice as you continue to recover. For those that couldn’t make it, see the list of those local resources below and reach out if you are ever in need of their services.

    Lynn Anderson & Linda Rice – Stearns Lending
    Jonathan Hughes – East Coast Restoration
    Ron Hicks – Public Adjuster
    Mike Hancock, Insurance agent, Farm Bureau in Beaufort
    Maven Construction
    Infinity Roofing and Siding
    Terry Jones – Cedar Point Flooring & Bayside Chem Dri
    Hope 4NC

    We are considering facilitating more events like this in the near future. If you are interested in speaking, or attending- Please reach out and let us know. We will keep you posted on the day/time of any further events.

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    Now Accepting Donations for our Local Coast Guard Stations

    Keeping Watch 24/7

    For over 50 years, the U.S Coast Guard Stations at Fort Macon & Emerald Isle have been patrolling our waters and saving lives along the North Carolina Coast. Coast Guard Base Fort Macon itself is comprised of over 200 active duty personnel, 85 reservists, and over 1,200 auxiliary members.

    In need of our help

    We are approaching the month-long mark of the Government Shutdown. Based in the lapse of Federal Funding, enlisted members in the U.S Coast Guard are still required to work without pay. This has a significant impact in the everyday lives of thousands of people, so we want to do what we can to help enrich the lives of the men and women who serve to keep us protected along the waterways we all enjoy. These crews work around the clock to keep watch of our oceans and keep us safe. With a lapse in funding, not only are the home-lives of these Guardsmen effected- but the duty stations are in need of supplies as well.

    Items Needed Include:

    • Ingredients for spaghetti, other pasta dishes
    • Chicken breast
    • Hamburger and buns
    • Hot dogs and buns
    • Prepared meals like: lasagna, pizzas
    • Canned soups
    • Pretzels, chips, crackers
    • Granola bars, cereal, muffins
    • Eggs, milk, sausage/bacon
    • Gatorade, juice, milk, coffee

    Please bring your donations to either of our Bluewater Real Estate Offices and we will coordinate with the Coast Guard stations for delivery. We thank you for your help, and thank the hardworking Coast Guard community for their commitment to serving our country.

    Bluewater Real Estate Atlantic Beach Office:

    610 Atlantic Beach Causeway

    Atlantic Beach, NC 28512

    Bluewater Real Estate Emerald Isle Office:

    200 Mangrove Drive

    Emerald Isle, NC 28594

    Help Keep NC Homeowners Insurance Rates Down

    NC Homeowners Alliance

    The NC Homeowners Alliance works to protect the interests of property owners in the NC General Assembly, while increasing awareness of issues and potential legislation that directly affect consumers’ most important and often most valuable investment: their home.

    The Alliance supports common-sense measures that are geared to improving the everyday lives of all North Carolinians. In order to increase the state economy and defend the rights of its citizens, the General Assembly should support legislation that will protect the rights of the millions on NC property owners and encourage more home-ownership, while keep home and property insurance rates fair and affordable.

    If you’d like to help take part in our grassroots efforts to protect the rights of property owners, join the Alliance here. You won’t get spammed, as the Alliance is committed to sending information strictly deemed relevant and interesting. We’ll keep you up to date on legislation that will affect your bottom line, such as new rules for insurance rates, your mortgage interest deduction, and local development initiatives. They’ll also let you know about opportunities for to meet with legislators, advocate on their behalf, and make your voice heard in regards to your home and its insurance costs.

    Action Needed!

    With help from the NC Homeowners Alliance last year, we were able to convince Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey to block an unreasonable homeowners insurance rate hike. The increase would’ve brought the proposed average to over 18%. The Comission heard the outcry and responded to only a 4% increase for most homeowners. We need your help to do it again!

    The latest proposal from insurance companies would increase rates by an average of 17.4 percent, but for some consumers the increase could exceed 30 PERCENT!

    Please let your voice be heard and tell Commissioner Causey to SAY NO to the insurance companies’ request. You can easily send an email to Commissioner Causey by following this link. You’ll just need to input your information, and a pre-drafted E-mail will send in just a few seconds. If you’d prefer to craft your own message, you can send it over via E-mail to or drop a letter in the mail to:

    NC Department of Insurance

    Commissioner’s Office

    1201Mail Service Center

    Raleigh, NC 27699-1201

    If you need a quote for Home, Auto or Boat Insurance- our dedicated team is here to provide that for you. You and your family deserve undivided attention with all questions thoroughly answered, and that’s the level of service that Bluewater Insurance strives provide. Learn more by visiting their site, or click the button below to get a free quote.