We need your help to urge the New Jersey Senate to vote YES to the Public Access Bill (S.1074) which has been listed for a vote on Thursday, June 21, 2018! Please use the the talking points below to call your State Senator, and urge him/her to vote YES! This is a very important step to get the law passed! Thank you!
I am calling to request that you vote YES to Senate Bill S.1074. 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, June 18, 2018, the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee approved and released S.1074, a bill proposed by Sen. Bob Smith, Senator Kip Bateman and co-sponsored by Senator Gopal, 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 passes!