Jersey Shore Fees to Change in Summer 2012

by

Fort Hankcock at Sandy Hook, New Jersey

You might be spending a fortune at the Jersey Shore next summer. You also might get in for free, and it all depends on who you are and where you go. Paying for beach badges is a controversial topic for beach-goers in the Garden State. Some people have no problem paying a few dollars for a day at the beach, while others see it as an unnecessary fee. This is understandable given all the costs in visiting the shore. With today’s gasoline prices, fueling for the drive can be enough to make an extra $7 hurt. New policies for beach fees will, for better or worse, be affecting visitors differently next year.

For Better

Beginning next summer active military personnel and veterans will receive free beach badges in Ocean City, New Jersey. Ocean City is the first beach community in New Jersey to offer this incentive.  The city council passed an ordinance allowing the change on October 25th. This has been praised my many beach goers, and may be the start of a larger effort to lower the cost of beach access in New Jersey. Comments on NJ.com praised the move, although residents still want free access state-wide. One comment read “Good News!!! Now if we can get ALL the beach towns, to do the same, then we got something good, going”, with a rebuttal, “If they gave free access to all NJ residents they wouldn’t make enough money…A day at the beach for $5 is a steal!” You can read more about this ordinance here.

For Worse

Beach fees at Sandy Hook aren’t fairing as well for New Jerseyans as in Ocean City. The National Park Service has proposed a plan to double fees for Sandy Hook next year. Season passes would climb to $100, and daily vehicle fees would move from $10 to $20. The hikes are claimed to be a necessity to continue basic services for beach goers such as lifeguards and clean bathrooms. This reason is not good enough for visitors to Sandy Hook who look across the bay at Staten Island where beach admission is free. Even so, the proposed rates are per-car, not per-person. A full car could keep the per-person rate as low as $4. For more about this debate, check out this article on Middletown Patch!

Have something to say, maybe a better idea for funding the Jersey Shore? Leave a comment below!

Kyle Walsh

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