Photo credit: @julesdwit.
A not-for-profit media organization supported by people like you.
Steve Sweeney, New Jersey Senate President, discusses his proposed legislation about requiring free public access to beaches in any community that receives post Sandy government aid.
I wish we had someone like this on Long Island.Free The Beach
Beaches belong to the people! There should be NO private beachfront, IMHO
Before the Europeans arrived, how much did the Lenape indians charge for access to the beaches?
On water rights, I started thinking about this during a trip to Mexico and I noticed that due to all the resorts gobbling up the beaches, the people who live in the country are denied access to their own natural resource. I read somewhere that legally really one can own the beach up to the vegetation line and certain people will try to adjust that somehow in order to keep "others" from enjoying. I do though understand that if there is no maintenance and oversight, people who are not invested in the community or have an interest in the stewardship of our planet, will inevitably take advantage of a situation and leave the mess for others to clean up.
I'd like to see the Thomas Edison Service Area renamed in honor of Paterson's own Allen Ginsberg. Edison was an egomaniacal jerk who took credit for other's inventions. Thanks for listening.
I visited the Jersey shore quite a few times last year. The difference between the fee and no fee beaches are drastic. The fee beaches are far less crowded and much cleaner. The no fee beaches are crowded and basically covered in trash.
It would be great if this were added as a provision to the federal relief package!
@Jen: I agree, the same is true out on Long Island. It sad part is there's no services for these fees. Clean beach, no really? To keep out "undesirables" perhaps. My parents were blue collar growing up and I know we wouldn't been able to pay the extra cost. We went to Coney and passed on Jersey for that reason even thought invited.
Remember this? Michael Moore's invasion of the Greenwich, CT beach. He won the lawsuit:
In Australia ALL beaches are free access.
Lifeguards are volunteers.
I refuse to pay for beach access and don't visit NJ beaches as a result
I come from Puerto Rico, where beach culture is more sophisticated than here and I have to say I was horrified to find out that individuals can own and block access to water. In Puerto Rico all water is owned by the municipality where it falls, and access to water is a fundamental right.
Maintenance is done by each municipality and this is a great source of employment for local populations.
It could easily be $30 to $40 for a family to access the beach in spring lake for the day. So the senior caller saying it is pennies is clearly not a low-income wage earner with a family. Just wanted to add that their multimillion dollar boardwalk has been rebuilt several times already with federal funds.
The NJ shore is visited by thousands of people from other states. Why should non NJ taxpayers have free access to the shore resorts that NJ residents have paid for. Also - how will the crowds be controlled when word gets out that the beach in NJ is free.
I grew up going to Myrtle Beach, SC where the beaches were free. Concession stands pay the taxes that keep it free.
We bought in Asbury Park. We pay $400 a month on an 11 ft wide house and we still have to pay $6 to go to the beach. $70 for the season.
Asbury Park is notoriously corrupt. All those towns are. The money goes into corrupt politician's pockets.
Town Season Half Senior Seasonal Weekly Daily Free SpecialAllenhurst 7.00 Asbury Park 70.00 20.00 (63+) 5.00/$6.00 Weekends 12 & Under/Veterans & families 13 - 17 is 20.00Atlantic City Free Free Free Free Free Free FreeAvon 90.00 45.00 (65+) 9.00 Under 12 12-18 is 45.00Barnegat Light 35.00 10.00(65+) 20.00 5.00 Under 12 Bay Head 70.00 45.00 7.00 Under 12 Beach Haven 40.00 Free (65+) 20.00 5.00 Under 12 Belmar 50.00 15.00 7.00 14 & Under/Active Military Bradley Beach 65.00 25.00 (62+) 7.00/8.00 weekends & holidays 13 & Under 14-15 is 25.00Cape May 25.00 15.00 5.00 Under 12 10.00 3 DayDeal 100.00 6.00 weekday / 7.00 weekends/holidays Lavallette 40.00 14.00 (65+) 25.00 7.00 Under 12 Loch Arbour 90.00 50.00 (62+) 5.00weekday / 8.00 weekends/holidays Under 12 Long Branch 45.00 Free (62+) 5.00weekday / 7.00 weekends/holidays Under 13/Active Military & Family 14-17 30.00 SeasonalLoveladies 40.00 5.00 (65+) 20.00 5.00 Under 12 Manasquan 70.00 25.00(65+) 30.00 6.00 Under 12 35.00 12-16Ocean City 25.00 10.00 5.00 Under 12 Ocean Grove 70.00 40.00(65+) 35.00 7.00 Under 12 35.00 12-17Point Pleasant Jenkinson's 85.00 60.00 60.00(62) 8.00 /9.00 Weekends2.00 Ages 5-11 Under 5 5-11 35.00 Half/45.00 WholePoint Pleasant Risden's 90.00 65.00/55.00 8.00 /9.00 Weekends2.00 Ages 4-11 Under 4 4-11 45.00 WholeSandy Hook $15.00 Daily Parking Fee$75.00 Seasonal ParkingSea Bright 100.00 35.00 (65) 8.00 12 & under Active Duty Military Free with IDSea Girt 100.00 55.00 (65+) 8.00 Under 12 Seaside Heights 45.00 10.00 (65+ lifetime) 5.00 Under 12 Active Duty Military Free with IDShipbottom 40.00 10.00 17.00 5.00 12 and Under Spring Lake 100.00 60.00 9.00 Under 12 Surf City 35.00 Free (65+) 17.00 6.00 Under 12 Toms River 50.00 Free (62+ Residents) 25.00 7.00/8.00 Weekends & Holidays 12 & Under
It is completely unfair to charge a fee for using a natural resource of our state. The home owners in these beach towns own their homes not the beach. Shouldn't it be sufficient for them to own a home at the beach, they have to regulate who gets to enjoy the beach as well?
I believe that this is an issue of exclusivity. If these beach towns are accepting tax dollars to rebuilt, the beaches should be free. We, the tax payers have already paid for this access.
I grew up surfing in New Jersey and used to have to sneak on to certain beaches just to get into the ocean. The beach should be free to everyone, it is a natural resource and no one "owns" it. They could make money by fining people who don't follow the rules like leaving trash, or loud music, smoking etc.Why should someone have to pay money to stand on the sand, or swim in the ocean? It is absurd.
You cannot even get to most of the beaches! Try to go to Deal beach for example? Or the area south of Sandy Hook with all the locked paths.
Why not one reasonable seasonal beach badge that is shared for the whole coast. As it is each municipality charges different prices and High prices. Snotty Spring lake charges $90 while Belmar next door is $50
Totally classist racist. And it is not just the beach payment though, some of the beaches are entirely inaccessible with walls and barriers and nowhere to park at all and locked stairs to walk over a dune that only local people are allowed to enter...
I grew up in Indiana, and went to Florida to visit my Grandparents. I loved going to the beach. When I moved to New Jersey in 1986, I couldn't believe you had to pay to go to the beach. I never go down the shore. The beach should belong to everyone.
I live in Westchester county and drive all the way to the beautiful Delaware beaches rather than go to NJ because I am so offended by beach fees!
Florida's beaches are all public beaches. The state, as far as I've been told, owns all the beaches and any property be it hotel or private houses cannot own any beach front property.
I love listening to a career NJ politician talking about how certain Jersey shore towns charge people beach fee's instead of focusing the real problem of government waste and graft.
Ask him where all the money went for the ARC tunnel project. Ask who was in charge of managing the project and why they have not been prosecuted.
Something I've been wondering about since the elections in November: Why doesn't New Jersey have any female Representatives in Congress?
I live in Northern NJ. I support Senator Sweeney's position. Beaches are part of the public patrimony. Access should be free and open and funding strategies should be developed at a state or national level to break down these local barriers to access. Private beach is an oxymoron. It should not be allowed to exist.
A thought regarding the free beach access proposal -- perhaps addressing the economic advantage that free beaches will pose to the businesses within the beach locals rather than the fairness issue. You are on the right path economically in order to attract tourists; but, some people might take an attitude when you start discussing fairness.
A good point, however, my town- Long Branch - doesn't have much else going than the money they collect from the beach passes. The fee is modest compared to some of the other towns but I worry about a huge loss of revenue from a struggling mostlyu blue collar town
Hey, I'm all for keeping blue collar iron workers off MY beach!
Does Senator Sweeney have an opinion on the total absence of any mention of gun violence in Governor Christie's state of the union speech?
I am so glad he is proposing this. The beach fees in many communities are outrageously high, with no facilities, and the towns like it that way. There is nothing sadder than seeing a family wait for the beaches to officially close so they can enter after hours for free. If NJ shores are going to require a huge influx of federal tax dollars to keep them going, they should be available to the public for free.
Email addresses are required but never displayed.
Brian Lehrer leads the conversation about what matters most now in local and national politics, our own communities and our lives.
Subscribe on iTunes
WNYC 93.9 FM and AM 820 are New York's flagship public radio
stations, broadcasting the finest programs from NPR and PRI, as well as a wide range of award-winning local
programming. WNYC is a division of
New York Public Radio.