TRENTON, NJ (CBSNewYork/AP) — Opponents of New Jersey’s proposed beach access rules delivered more than 1,000 postcards to Gov. Chris Christie’s office Wednesday.
More than 40 groups oppose the proposed rules, which would allow towns to decide what level of public access is appropriate, subject to state approval.
But the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection says the goal of the new rules is to enhance and improve access to waterways, not hinder it.
“It will offer a commonsense approach to allow people to go wherever they like to when it comes to beaches and rivers in New Jersey,” Larry Ragonese, press director for the New Jersey DEP told CBS New York.
Environmental, fishing and beach access groups however, say they don’t trust the DEP to protect the public’s right to get onto ocean, bay and river beaches.
The cards ask Christie to scrap the proposal in favor of one that ensures better access to the state’s coast.
“Under these rules, we’re going backwards where the town can limit access by citizens to the beaches, bays and waterways,” explained Jeff Tittle, director of New Jersey Sierra Club. “It also hurts urban areas because it will limit access to waterfronts.”
Ragonese says the proposed rules will only enhance and improve the public’s access to New Jersey beaches, bays and rivers for recreation.
He also says the DEP is working with a number of municipalities to create public access plans, which would then require DEP approval.
Click here to read more about New Jersey’s public shoreline access from the NJDEP.
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