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  #1  
Old 05-16-2011, 06:22 PM
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Default Beach access - be prepared to LOSE it

I apologize for it being so long, but it's important, please read it through

The new rules being pushed through by our state government are going to change the way beach access is dealt with.

For as long as most of us can remember it was the state Dept of Environmental protection (DEP) that was the hammer that kept local towns from restricting our access to the water. Many of you remember the fight to remove the fence at the Rip and then later to remove the fence at Takanassee. Both times it was the DEP that fought for us and got our access back for us.

Now the New Commissioner of the DEP, Bob Martin, and our Governer are trying to push through a change in the regulatory wording that removes the DEP from any part regarding access and gives the local towns full control (the fox will now be guarding the hen house)

These new proposed rules coming out of the DEP remove all reference to the Public Trust Doctrine from state law and remove the DEP from any responsibilities pertaining to access. Towns could develop their own "municipal public access plans" that would dictate where public access and related amenities, if any, will be required. A town would not have to provide access where there are "practical limitations" and may send its public access obligation to a neighboring town or to other parts of the county.

The most immediate thing we will see is our money pumping sand onto beaches we can't get onto and much tighter access restrictions on the backwaters, both bay and rivers.

The rules are out for public comment now and it will be in our best interest to make ourselves heard loudly. Everyone has to do whatever they can to help stop this.

The organizations for whom beach access is important, are coming together as one organized voice. Even the groups that occasionally don't always see eye to eye, (the surfers and the fishermen) are putting aside all differences to put a stop to what the state is trying to do. Right now Surfrider and the NJ Baykeeper are taking the lead in fighting these new rules. They've asked us, the fishermen, to back them, both individually, and as organizations, which of course we are doing.

Everyone who reads this needs to immediately sign on.
There's a link over at Surfriders site to send a letter to your congressman and Governor

If you're a member of an organization or website that wants to lend its voice to the fight, please contact me for the phone numbers to get you signed up.

Additionally there will be public hearings WE MUST ATTEND AND BE HEARD !

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 at 11:00 A.M.
Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Townsend Residential Life Center Multi-Purpose Room
Jimmie Leeds Road
Pomona, NJ 08240

Monday, May 23, 2011 at 1:00 P.M.
Seaside Heights Municipal Court
2nd Floor Court Room
116 Sherman Road, Seaside Heights NJ 08751


Remember, they are trying to stack the deck against us. Originally there were no meetings held after working hours but your calls and letters are beginning to have an effect, they have now scheduled one that we can attend without having to take a day off of work !!
The thing I find most interesting is the location they picked - A place that will have the most people attending who do NOT want the common man to have full and open beach access and who want the taxpayers to pay for new beaches in front of their million dollar homes.

Thursday, June 2nd 2011, 7PM
Long Beach Township Court Room (same as Council Chambers)
6805 Long Beach Boulevard, Brant Beach, NJ 08008


Additionally we can be heard here:
Meet the Governor Town Hall Meeting
Wednesday, May 18th, 2011 - Doors Open at 12:45 PM

https://spreadsheets1.google.com/spr...tGVzZHdUE6M A

Additionally, just so you realize exactly what we're up against............................
If you do your research on the current attempt to change the access rules you'll see that this all began with the town of Avalon suing the DEP over access just a few years ago.

Guess who one of the Avalon property owners is - Yup, Mr. Martin, our new Commissioner of the DEP

The rotten stench coming from this whole situation is incredible

(cut n paste from the state of NJ website)

Martin, 52, was born and raised in Massachusetts. He earned a B.A. in Economics and Sociology from Boston College and an M.B.A. in Finance and Investing from George Washington University. Martin has lived in Hopewell Township for the past 14 years and also owns a summer home in Avalon, New Jersey.

66 East 17th St.
Avalon, NJ 08202


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Talk about an effective way to get millions of dollars of sand pumped onto "your beach" without having to allow public access, become the commissioner of the agency that enforces the law and get the law changed.

Only in NJ
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  #2  
Old 05-16-2011, 06:23 PM
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Default Re: Beach access - be prepared to LOSE it

This is an updated list of those groups that have joined the Organizational Sign-on Statement in support of opposing the new Proposed Public Access Rules

The undersigned organizations therefore oppose the Christie Administration?s attempt to roll back public access rules concerning our beaches and waterways. (In alphabetical order)

American Littoral Society

Asbury Park Fishing Club

Bayshore Regional Watershed Council

Bergen SWAN

Berkeley Striper Club

Citizens? Right to Access Beaches, CRAB

Delaware Riverkeeper Network

Eastern Surfing Association/Southern NJ District

Edison Wetlands Association

Elizabeth River/Arthur Kill Watershed Association

Environment New Jersey

Friends of Liberty State Park

Future City, Inc.

Hackensack Riverkeeper

Hudson River Fishermen's Association

Hudson River Waterfront Conservancy of NJ

Ironbound Community Corporation

Jersey Coast Anglers Association

New Jersey Audubon Society

New Jersey Chapter, Sierra Club

New Jersey Citizen Action

New Jersey Council of Diving Clubs

New Jersey Outdoor Alliance

New York/New Jersey Baykeeper

NJ Environmental Justice Alliance

NJ Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility

NJ State Federation of Sportsmen?s Clubs

Raritan Riverkeeper

Riverkeeper

Shark River Surf Anglers

Stripers Online

Surfers? Environmental Alliance

Surfrider Foundation, Jersey Shore Chapter

Surfrider Foundation, South Jersey Chapter
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  #3  
Old 05-16-2011, 07:01 PM
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Default Re: Beach access - be prepared to LOSE it

From the Littoral Societies website:


The N.J. Department of Environmental Protection is presently proposing to scrap and replace important rules that protect and create public access to the State’s tidal waterways, including the Jersey Shore, the Hudson River and other urban waters. The new rule proposal— the (No) Public Access Rule—threatens to drastically reduce the public’s right to view, use and enjoy the State’s rivers, bays and coast for fishing, surfing, bathing, diving and all other water dependent recreational activities. This Fact Sheet is one in a series of Fact Sheets detailing why DEP’s proposal must be stopped.

1. Fishing Access and Amenities No Longer Specifically Required
The current rule resulted in the creation of many new fishing access areas and amenities. It is an affront to the recreational fishing community that DEP is proposing its repeal. The (No) Public Access Rule would end the requirement that fishing access and associated amenities be required as part of development (including reconstructed bridges) along tidal waterways.

2. Along the Jersey Shore, the Mile Access Standard is Being Reduced to Mile
As surf fishermen who lug gear from the nearest available parking space know all too well, there is a major difference between fishing access being provided every mile as opposed to every mile.
DEP is proposing to repeal its -mile public access requirement for renourished beaches and instead rely upon the federal Army Corps of Engineers lesser -mile standard.

3. No Specific Parking Requirements Proposed
Without sufficient parking, public access to the waterfront can be meaningless. The (No) Public Access Rule does not contain any specific parking requirements. It is not clear how much public parking, if any, must be provided for in the untested Municipal Public Access Plans. The proposed rule does not state how much parking constitutes is “sufficient” for beach renourishment projects. Moreover, towns are no longer required to remove parking restrictions in order to receive State funding for such projects.

4. Closed Areas to Remain Closed
Particularly along the urban waterfront, DEP’s proposed “status quo” approach will keep those areas closed to the public. In many instances, the (No) Public Access Rule would not require existing commercial, industrial, marina, and port developments to provide public access where none presently exists.

5. Public Access Limited to Business Hours
Apparently, DEP believes that the public does not fish on weekends, at night, or in the early morning. In many instances, the (No) Public Access Rules would only allow public access “during normal operating hours.” This is true for public projects, industrial developments, marinas and commercial facilities (where additional hours may be allowed).

For more information about this proposal, and what you can do to help us stop it, read (No) Public Access Rule Fact Sheets #1 Overview, #2 Municipal Public Access Plans, #3 Renourished Beaches, #4 Urban Waterfront, and #6 What You Can Do to Help, brought to you by:

The American Littoral Society
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  #4  
Old 05-16-2011, 07:13 PM
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Default Re: Beach access - be prepared to LOSE it

Find your legislator on this list (by municipality) and send an e-mail telling him how you feel about this issue

http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/distric...cipalities.asp

Do it now, right now !
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Old 05-17-2011, 09:44 PM
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Default Re: Beach access - be prepared to LOSE it

From the Asbury Park Press

GALLOWAY The state's proposed new beach access regulations took a beating for the second week in a row today, with residents speaking out at a public hearing in southern New Jersey against a plan that would give individual towns a much greater say in deciding how much access is appropriate for them.

"This document says, 'Trust me: I know what's best for you,'" said Tom Siciliano, a fisherman from Little Egg Harbor Township. "I don't trust government."

"There used to be a governor that would say, 'Come to the Jersey shore,'" added Paul Harris, an official with the New Jersey Beach Buggy Association. "This was to promote tourism, to get people to come to the beach. What do you say now: 'Come to the Jersey shore, but you'll have limited access and parking?' "

The regulations rely more on cooperation from towns rather than threats from state regulators. They let towns decide for themselves what level of public access is appropriate, subject to state approval.

The agency will decide whether to finalize the rules after the public comment period ends next month.

Ralph Coscia, co-president of Citizens Right To Access Beaches, referred to previous praise of New Jersey's current beach access levels by Department of Environmental Protection officials.
"When DEP officials describe New Jersey's public access as 'wonderful' and 'magnificent,' it is cause for concern," he said. "When a family has to drive around for half an hour looking for a parking space in a community where they are legally allowed to go, it is hardly 'wonderful' or 'magnificent.' These events occur on a daily basis during the summer season."

Tim Dillingham, executive director of the American Littoral Society, a coastal advocacy group, said New Jersey's shore towns have shown repeatedly that they will side with oceanfront homeowners against public access.
"The idea that towns should be given the authority to manage public access given their history of having police officers chase people off beaches or limit parking is not the way New Jersey should be protecting access to the beach, which belongs to the public," he said. "They don't belong to the oceanfront homeowners or to the towns. They belong to the entire state."

The state rewrote its beach access rules earlier this year, saying its hand was forced by a 2008 appeals court ruling that struck down more specific rules requiring public access points every quarter-mile, parking and restrooms near beaches.
Ray Cantor, a top aide to DEP Commissioner Robert Martin, said the new rules aim to provide for local flexibility while still maintaining "better access in more appropriate locations."
"There is a better way to provide access to our coastal areas and inland waterways," he said. "We are not doing away with any access points that exist now. We are not abdicating our responsibility."

The court ruling came in a lawsuit brought by the south Jersey beach town of Avalon that claimed the state overstepped its bounds by requiring too much public access and unreasonable requirements such as around-the-clock access to beaches and marinas. The stricter set of regulations had been issued under former DEP Commissioner Lisa Jackson, now head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The court agreed and struck down the rules. Martin said the state will now seek to have access points at half-mile intervals, but that standard will not be set in stone.

Most of the gains in public access to New Jersey's coastal and tidal waters have come after lengthy, costly court battles against towns that used a variety of strategies to keep all but outsiders off their sand.

In Mantoloking, beachgoers can park their cars on most public streets for a maximum of two hours a day. In parts of Long Beach Island like the Loveladies section of Long Beach Township, many streets dead-end with private driveways with signs warning "Private drive. No public beach access."
In Sea Bright, there's little, if any, on-street parking along much of the sea wall taking up a good chunk of the oceanfront. Bay Head for years legally restricted its beaches to residents-only, until a court told it to stop. And in many places, eating on the beach isn't allowed and it's impossible to find a bathroom within walking distance.

Irene Kelly, a Lavallette resident, said her Ocean County beach town recently limited parking in some places to two hours. That, she said, makes it much more difficult for people to come use the beach.
"You have to scramble to park your car; in some places, it's five blocks away" from the ocean, she said. "It's horrible and it should be stopped before the season starts."

The new rules ask but don't require coastal towns to adopt a public access plan spelling out exactly where the public can get to the beach. For towns that balk, the state has several punishments it can mete out. One is cutting the town off from open-space funding under the state Green Acres program. Another is ranking that town lower on the state's funding recommendation list for beach replenishment money. And a third is denying the town permits for beach and dune maintenance.

The only ones to speak in favor of the rules were elected officials in some beach towns that would be subject to less stringent regulation.
Al Carusi, a councilman in the Cape May County shore town of Stone Harbor, welcomed the proposed rules, saying they would be friendlier than the stance previously taken by the DEP regarding beach access requirements and burdens on municipalities.
"In the past, it was adversarial and time-consuming," he said. "This is a win-win."

Andrew Bednarek, Avalon's borough administrator, said the old rules his town overturned in court were "unreasonable and impossible to comply with."
"I applaud the DEP for abandoning the one-size-fits-all approach while respecting the requirement of public access," he said.
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Old 05-18-2011, 07:57 AM
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Default Re: Beach access - be prepared to LOSE it

I have been keeping up with this through our NJ Chapter President. We SSC are also listed in the organizational groups opposing this. This is a Huge deal down in NJ! If you NJ guys can attend one of these meetings to oppose this Get there. Once something is taken away it is nearly impossible to get it back
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Old 05-18-2011, 08:14 AM
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Default Re: Beach access - be prepared to LOSE it

We're behind you all the way on this Sudsy. Even though I don't live in, or fish in NJ, I sent letters opposing this move and pushing for the additional hearings, and have encouraged all SSC club members to do the same. This would not only negatively affect public access in NJ, but would also set a precedent that we do not want set on the Stripercoast.

Let me know if there's anything else we can do to help.
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Old 05-19-2011, 07:50 PM
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Default Re: Beach access - be prepared to LOSE it

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