The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is seeking public comment on a new proposal for insuring public access to state beaches and waterways.KYW’s Pat Loeb reports DEP spokesman Larry Ragonese says most beach towns and recreational areas encourage visitors but there are property owners who would like to keep their piece of the shoreline private:
“Not everyone may want to provide adequate access and so the DEP does have to get involved.”
The last set of rules it adopted were struck down in court and Governor Christie promised new ones that would be less “onerous and costly,” in his words. Sea Isle City Mayor Len Desiderio says the new proposal fits the bill:
“It seems to be a much better working relationship now than it was in the past.”
Public access advocates worry that it’s gone too far the other way. Doug O’Malley is spokesman for Environment New Jersey:
“You aren’t clear enough that towns still have an obligation under the public trust doctrine to allow the average NJ resident to enjoy the shore.”
An early version of the rules is on the DEP website so people can comment before the official proposal is introduced in October.