NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As warmer weather approaches, beaches are gradually reopening, each with their own rules and guidelines, but some are worried about this approach after tri-state governors promised a unified reopening plan.
As the first beaches along the Jersey Shore begin to reopen this weekend, questions arise about other states.
The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut seem to be reneging on a regional promise to coordinate together.
“Uniformity works. It’s hard to do, but when you can do it, uniformity works,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on March 17.
When it comes to beach openings, however, plans vastly differ. Some were never closed. Others prohibit swimming.
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In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy announced this week that beaches will likely be re-open by Memorial Day weekend.
“I will be shocked if our beaches are not open, but with very specific guidance, just as we opened county and state parks,” he said.
Eddie Pastore is the co-founder of Friends of Rockaway Beach and thinks an uncoordinated approach jeopardizes everyone’s safety.
“It’s a terrible idea as far as I’m concerned,” he told CBS2’s Christina Fan. “Social distancing is the only weapon we have. And if you open up the beaches, there’s no social distancing. So it’s just, it’s just, to me, ludicrous.”
But Mayor Paul Kanitra of Point Pleasant Beach thinks it’s wise for each state and municipality to decide for itself when the time is right.
He says beach communities have different police staffing and population densities. His town will be opening up its smallest beaches this month and limiting groups of people.
“Our borough engineer is looking at how many we can fit in between the high tide line and the base of the dunes. And we’ll go from there checking it off,” Kanitra said.
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Other towns in New Jersey are only allowing walkers or joggers.
Gov. Murphy says he will set additional guidelines in the coming days.