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April 18: Attend the Public Hearings on NJDEP Beach Access Rules

The waterfront does not belong to industry or private developments, it belongs to the people. The NJDEP is the custodian of our rights and it is giving them away for free.

Attend a Public Hearing or Submit Comments on NJDEP's (No) Public Access Rules on Wed., April 18. Hearings in Avalon and Long Branch.

 In Spring 2011, NJDEP proposed a new rule governing public access to New Jersey's waterfronts.  The proposed rule was a complete surrender of NJDEP's duty under the Public Trust Doctrine to protect the public's access to the ocean and tidal waters. Public opposition to the rule was resounding.

 On March 19, the NJDEP published its notice of substantial changes to the public access rule. The changes do not alter the NJ DEP's wholesale surrender to big-business interests on urban waterfronts. In fact, the NJ DEP did not even respond to the numerous comments on the urban waterfront access component of the rule. Neither hearing is in North Jersey where residents are negatively impacted by the urban component of the rule. The agency clearly wishes to avoid being criticized yet again for allowing urban residents to be locked out from their waterways. 

 The notice of substantial changes to the public access rule also fails to address the most basic problems with the originally proposed rule: that the rule lacks standards for the approval of municipal access plans which will result in a patchwork of access rules. The rules do not encourage or require expanded access and they protect existing access only to "the maximum extent practicable" with no definition of what that means. (Additionally, NJDEP's new waiver rule allows the NJDEP to ignore any of these rules should they present "an undue burden.")

The waterfront does not belong to industry or private developments, it belongs to the people. The NJDEP is the custodian of our rights and it is giving them away for free.

Public hearings:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012, at Noon

Avalon Court Meeting Room

3100 Dune Drive

Avalon, New Jersey 08202

 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012, at 6 P.M.

Long Branch Council Chambers

344 Broadway, 2nd Floor

Long Branch, New Jersey 07740

 

Submit comments by May 18, 2012 at http://www.nj.gov/dep/rules/comments.

 

Please contact Elizabeth@nynjbaykeeper.org if you would like help preparing comments.  

 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Steve April 19, 2012 at 09:10 PM
I guess for paying those taxes you have the right to the sun and sky also.
Jon Boody April 19, 2012 at 10:19 PM
Beachfront land owners are much the same as any other land owner. The biggest difference is the huge demand from the public to have access to that land - at least that's how it appears to me as I don't have thousands of people demanding to have access to my back yard or complaining if I were to receive Federal aid in a disaster situation. The question would be then, where do we draw the line for where people can or cannot own land? And, what is the basis for that determination? Not simple questions, really. There would be lots of grey areas that would need to be addressed with those questions.
Mary Doe April 23, 2012 at 07:30 PM
In the old USSR the people were not allowed to own private property anywhere. The government determined what was to happen with your property. So while liking the idea of having access to any beach I want, it is a trade for our freedom. I'm not so sure that is a good direction to be headed.
Mary Doe April 23, 2012 at 09:47 PM
Karl Marx describes in his communist manifesto, the ten steps necessary to destroy a free enterprise system and replace it with a system of omnipotent government power, so as to effect a communist socialist state. Those ten steps are known as the Ten Planks of The Communist Manifesto. 1. Abolition of private property and the application of all rents of land to public purposes. None are more hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free....
Herky April 24, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Mary Doe: you seem to know about Commuinism, how much do you know about freedom of passage??

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