Sea Bright, New Jersey locals pus back against encroaching beach access fees
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 20 May, 2015 - Sea Bright, New Jersey - New Jersey website NJ.com reports today that one of the last remaining stretches of Sea Bright beaches still accessable fpor sree during the summer is under risk of dissapearing.
Patrons will be asked to pay $8 access fees to reach beaches there beginning this weekend.
According to the report, surfers say charging admission and adding lifeguards – something they haven't had to contend with in decades there – will shut them out of one of the few places they have to catch a wave in the area.
"It's been the Al Ferguson surfing beach since the early '90s and we'd like to keep it that way," said Rich Lee, executive director of Surfers' Environmental Alliance. "To find out we're back at square one, it's a little disheartening."
The report claims that Sea Bright Councilman John Lamia has stated that despite criticism, the area must abide a decades-old agreement with the Department of Environmental Protection that Sea Bright would provide the same services as nearby beaches, namely lifeguards.
"Under that 1992 agreement, the state Department of Environmental Protection was responsible for erecting fencing and signs as well as building public restrooms," Lamia said. "And Sea Bright was to be responsible for lifeguards, admission and parking.
"We agreed many years ago to protect that beach and treat it as every other beach," said Lamia, who is in his first term on the council.