People Of Earth Push Back Against Jersey Shore Towns’ Efforts To Privitize The Ocean


ASSOCIATED PRESS: New Jerseyans have to put up with taxes, tolls, toxic waste and, occasionally, Snooki. So an occasional trip to the beach is all that keeps some folks here sane. Now officials in the nation’s most densely populated state are rewriting public beach access rules that could make it easier for well-to-do towns to keep out-of-towners off their beaches , and a sandstorm is brewing. The state says it had to act and give more local control over access after a court decision struck down more stringent rules that spelled out uniform standards for each shore town. The state feels it can accomplish more by working with shore towns and giving them flexibility rather than dictating a “one-size-fits-all” access policy to them. But many beachgoers fear the new rules, if adopted, would reward the very people who have made it so hard for outsiders to reach the beach for decades. Joe Woerner, an official with the Jersey Shore Surfrider Foundation, said he was handcuffed as a teenager 20 years ago as he came out of the ocean with his surfboard. He was taken to a police holding cell in Sea Girt. Crossing a hundred yards or so of sand without a beach badge. “I was a 15-year-old boy arrested for using the ocean,” he said. “These are the kind of people who will be making our rules.” MORE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *