New Jersey DEP proposes rules for beach access

    New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection is proposing new rules that would allow towns to determine how much access the public has to beaches and waterways.

    New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection is proposing new rules that would allow towns to determine how much access the public has to beaches and waterways.

    Efforts to limit the public’s right to be on the beach have been challenged for years.

    Tim Dillingham, the executive director of the American Littoral Society, says the new rules are a move in the wrong direction.

    Dillingham:
    We’re concerned that we’ll see less access for fishermen, for surfers, for folks who don’t necessarily live in the shore towns.

    But Matthew Weng with the League of Municipalities does not expect shore towns to act to limit beach access.

    Weng:

    Many of these short towns rely on tourism for their livelihood, and especially now in the current economic climate, we think that most municipalities would want to encourage public access because that brings money into their towns.

    The proposed rules would allow towns to determine the hours of public beach access. Some marina operators have complained about having to maintain access points when their businesses were closed for the winter.

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