Jersey Shore towns ready for holiday crowds

 The Belmar beach stretches out before the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

The Belmar beach stretches out before the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

Towns at the Jersey Shore are ready, willing and able to accommodate the large crowds expected this  Memorial Day weekend.

The ocean water quality is excellent and beaches are in good shape, said Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin.

“We’ve talked to all the towns and all the mayors. We confirmed that all the beaches are ready to be open and be ready for the public going forward,” he said Thursday. “There are still a few beaches that have narrow beaches because we’re rebuilding those.”

Earlier this month, a great white shark was tracked off the Jersey coast, but Jon Miller, a coastal researcher at Stevens Institute of Technology, says rip currents are a much bigger threat.

“If the weather service has a rip current warning out, people tend to ignore that,” he said. “But if they see a picture or a shark or a tag on a shark 10 miles offshore, they won’t go in the water.”

Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty believes it will be a better summer season than it was before Sandy.

“We think this is going to be the best summer we’ve ever had. Our beaches have never been better. Our boardwalk is fully restored,” he said. “Our businesses are all back in good shape.”

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.