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.
Surfers urge Gov. Christie to change his position on issue.
More than eight out of ten New Jerseyans agree that when the government funds beach replenishment in shore towns that have limited beach access, they should be required to improve visitor access, according to a Rutgers-Eagleton Center for Public Interest poll made public Tuesday.
In all, 82.1 percent of adults support an improved access requirement, 10.6 percent oppose it, and 7.3 percent are unsure.
The poll was conducted earlier this month on behalf of the Jersey Shore Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation.
The Surfrider Foundation is a grassroots, non-profit, environmental organization that works to protect our oceans, waves, and beaches. Founded in 1984, Surfrider Foundation’s most important coastal environmental work is carried out by Surfrider Foundation’s 60 chapters located along the East, West, Gulf, Puerto Rican, and Hawaiian coasts.
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Advocates laud halt of LNG proposal; ASIG suspends project due to Gulf oil spill fallout
Cindy Zipf, executive director of Clean Ocean Action, which led opposition to the project it labeled “Insanity Island,” said last week that she thinks public opinion played a large role in the company’s decision.
“I think it was that they were reading the public sentiment and that we have a governor who holds a veto pen and says he doesn’t support LNG; those are not very hard signs to read.
“I can’t see many of the factors that they used wisely to make their decision to withdraw their application changing anytime soon. Public opinion is going to be in opposition because this project makes no public sense.”
Zipf and other local environmental groups, including Surfrider Foundation and the Bayshore Regional Watershed Council, lauded the decision in a press release.