Thursday, August 21, 2014
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Should 'Keep Out' Signs Come Down at Storm-Wracked Beaches?

It’s your money. Doesn’t that mean it’s your beach?

Should ‘Keep Out’ Signs Come Down at Storm-Wracked Beaches?

With the public financing dune-construction and sand-replenishment projects, shouldn’t the public have better access to Jersey Shore?
With the public financing dune-construction and sand-replenishment projects, shouldn’t the public have better access to Jersey Shore? AKIRA SUWA / Staff Photographer, file

It’s your money. Doesn’t that mean it’s your beach?

Millions of tax dollars are being spent by the state and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build protective dunes and widen beaches along the along the Jersey Shore, as part of efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy to limit damage from future storms.

Because those projects are bankrolled with federal Sandy relief funds, some say coastal communities taking the money should be forced to make sure all of their beaches are easily accessible to the public.

State Sen. Jim Whelan (D-Atlantic County) is sponsoring a bill to require that the state's shore-protection projects include more public access to the waterfront.

“The public needs to be guaranteed access to the beaches that are built with that money,” said Tim Dillingham, director of the American Littoral Society, an organization focused on coastal issues.

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