Should Jersey Shore Residents Be Given Free Beach Access?
One of the biggest beach weekends of the year has officially come to a close and now, Summer can officially begin.
The Jersey Shore becomes a whole new world during the Summer months and I absolutely thrive.
Businesses reopen, the streets fill back up and our beaches turn us into the ultimate destination.
I have living proof from this weekend:
H E A V E N.
But one of the most unappealing parts of the Jersey Shore are those dreaded beach badges which force residents and visitors to pay for beach entry.
I get the need for revenue and town upkeep but to pay for access to mother nature has always been a crazy concept to me...especially since things are getting SO expensive...
Some of the most expensive beach badges for 2022 come from:
Avon by the Sea: $100 per seasonal badge
Deal: $120 per seasonal badge
Martell's in Point Pleasant: $125 per seasonal badge
Well today during the 2K Cafe's 2K Trivia, I asked a very time-appropriate question in honor of these expensive prices:
Which Jersey Shore town was the first to start charging for beach entry?
Shout out to Roxanne who answered correctly: BRADLEY BEACH!
Sorry Bradley, but yes I am calling you out. This change was made back in 1929 so at this point, beaches haven't been free for nearly 100 years!
But what Roxanne suggested after winning the contest resonated with me.
Nicole (me): "What are your thoughts on beach badges? Is it necessary for town revenue or has it gotten out of hand?"
Roxanne: "Oh, it is totally out of hand! I don't think we should have to pay."
Nicole: "Wow! So no one should have to pay at all?"
Roxanne: "Only out of towners should. Residents who live here should not."
And then a lightbulb went off in my mind: should residents of the Jersey Shore automatically be given free beach badges to their respective town?
I don't see why not.
Jersey Shore residents who live here year round pay taxes and help with the town's maintenance.
Visitors, on the other hand, come down for a quick trip after the beach has been maintained, cleaned and the towns have been "Summerified" with decorations, plants and flowers.
This past weekend, there was NOT a shortage of visitors so this plan could really work.
But then another question immediately follows: Who should count as a Jersey Shore resident?
Should people who have second homes at the shore get free beach access? I say no because your "second home" is usually a vacation home that you VISIT...just like the benny's...
Which Jersey Shore towns should count for this deal? This is where it gets blurry because residents who live in Howell or Toms River are not technically in a "shore town" but they reside within Monmouth or Ocean County.
I guess the solution would be to set a hard boundary of where this would apply. For example, anyone who lives within 20 miles of the coast.
Do you agree?
I personally thought this suggestion was genius so I had to share.
The cost of beach badges increases every year and for some towns, the cost of a seasonal badge is YOWZA.
But no matter how expensive, you will always find me at the beach.
Here are the 2022 beach badge prices for Monmouth & Ocean County: