We need your help to ensure public beach access in New Jersey! The Public Access Bill (S.1074) has not been listed for a hearing in the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee since it was unanimously approved on February 5. Please use the form letter on this post to write to Senator Paul A. Sarlo, Chair of the Committee and ask him to list the bill for a hearing. This is a very important step to get the bill passed!

Copy and paste the following letter to Senator Sarlo to urge him to take action on S.1074. If you can edit and personalize the message before you send, it will have more of an impact! Thank you for your help!

Send via Mail, Fax (201-804-8644) or email (sensarlo@njleg.org)

 

Senator Paul A. Sarlo

Budget and Appropriations, Chair

496 Columbia Blvd. – 1st Floor

Wood-Ridge, NJ 07075

 

Dear Senator Sarlo:

I am writing to request that Senate Bill S.1074 be scheduled for a hearing. I live in New Jersey and enjoy our shared coast and tidelands. The protection of tidal waterways and their shores is important to me for a variety of reasons including tourism and recreation. It is the responsibility of the state, through the Public Trust Doctrine, to hold these lands and waters in trust for the public. Affording them special protection enables the state to provide adequate access to and use of them.

On Monday, Feb. 5, 2018, the New Jersey Senate Environment Committee unanimously approved and released S.1074, a bill proposed by Sen. Bob Smith and Senator Kip Bateman, which is intended to protect public access to tidal waterfronts for bathing, swimming, fishing, and other shore-related activities. The bill reaffirms that the NJ Department of Environmental Protection is responsible for ensuring that all state communities provide beach access to the public.

The Legislature’s action to codify the state’s obligations and duties under the Public Trust Doctrine will strengthen efforts to ensure that the public has full access to, and use of, the shoreline, tidal waters and other areas subject to the Public Trust. The pending bill will also provide authority to address chronic problems limiting public access to tidal waters throughout New Jersey, such as the provision of support facilities necessary to make access meaningful, including parking, restroom facilities, walkover structures and handicapped access. Without clarification and direction to the NJDEP, municipalities and private landowners have, and will continue, their attempts to limit parking, close off access points and restrict the public from enjoying beaches and waterfronts which case law dictates they have a right to access.

I am hoping that you will help to ensure that the bill moves through the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

Sincerely,