N.J. environmental group wants proposed coastal access rules to allow urban residents use of bays, rivers
Wednesday, March 23, 2011, 12:47 PM By The Associated Press See the Star Ledger article here. Listen to the 101.5 story here.
NEWARK — Carol Johnston grew up in Newark, barely aware that it had a river.
“It was locked away behind dirty, rusty fences” or other barriers,” she said.
Yet like the state’s 127 miles of sandy ocean beaches, urban rivers and bays are supposed to be just as accessible to the public under the law.
But proposed changes to the state’s coastal access rules could have a big impact in urban and industrialized parts of the state, according to a coalition of environment and beach access groups who want the proposed rules to be improved. They say a rewrite of coastal access rules due out next month doesn’t ensure that the residents of poor or urban communities can fish, walk along or even look at rivers or bays.
We got some great press in our opposition to the rule proposal of the Christie Administration concerning beach and tidal water access. Full AP story below
Wednesday, March 09, 2011, 6:00 PM
ATLANTIC CITY — New Jersey’s main beach access advocacy groups have called on Gov. Chris Christie to scrap a plan to let individual shore towns decide what level of public access should be required of them.
Asbury Park Press Editorial: Don’t relent on access
January 4, 2011
The vast majority of New Jerseyans — 82 percent of them — want shore towns that get public money for beach replenishment to offer better public access to those newly widened beaches, according to a newly released Rutgers-Eagleton poll.
No surprise there. If all of us pay for the sand that makes the beaches wider and protects a small number of affluent property owners from a storm surge, why shouldn’t everyone have easy access to those beaches?
But draft rules released by the state Department of Environmental Protection in August carry no such obligation. That must change. Final rules will be issued within a few weeks. A 60-day public comment period will follow, with adoption of the rules expected to be in place before Memorial Day.
Posted: Monday, January 3, 2011 3:08 pm | Updated: 3:04 pm, Tue Jan 4, 2011.
A new poll finds most New Jerseyans want shore towns that get public money for beach replenishment to offer better public access to those newly widened beaches.
The state Department of Environmental Protection plans to issue new beach access rules later this month, designed to balance the public’s right to use beaches against the cost to towns and property owners of providing public access.
A Rutgers-Eagleton survey paid for by the Surfrider Foundation, a beach access group, found more than 82 percent of those surveyed want towns that get beach replenishment funds to provide better public access.
The proposed rules currently under legal review by the DEP contain no such requirement.
“The real solution here is for the state legislature to take this up and pass a law relating to beach access,” said John Weber, the Surfrider Foundation’s northeast regional manager.