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    N.J. lawmakers to hear testimony on beach access

    Advocates want New Jersey lawmakers to provide greater beach access in all areas being replenished in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

    The state Senate’s Environment and Energy Committee is due to consider a measure Thursday that would establish new criteria for how projects are prioritized under the state’s Shore Protection Program.

    The bill gives priority to locations that provide public access to beaches.

    But advocates say if a beach replenishment project involves state or federal assistance, the public should have access since public funds were used for the work. If the public is paying for the projects, they say everyone should benefit from them.

    The bill would also require that all projects include the creation of dunes.

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