New Jersey announces new public access rules

MANASQUAN, N.J. — New public access rules proposed by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, which include a number of significant changes impacting marinas, have been announced.

The proposals are supported by the Marine Trades Association of New Jersey (MTA/NJ), which has spent four years lobbying aggressively for the rights of marinas in the proposals.

“The DEP has made a real effort to take into consideration the nature of the family run marina businesses, the access already provided by New Jersey’s marinas, and the need for a reasonable, realistic and affordable permitting process which does not unduly burden marina owners and operators when essential maintenance and upgrades become necessary,” said Rick Traber, MTA/NJ President.

Under this new rule proposal, existing marinas will maintain the existing access they provide. If it is necessary to impact the existing public access in order to perform maintenance, renovation or needed improvements, equivalent public access shall be provided onsite. Public access will be required for new marina development and include a number of ways to satisfy the requirements taking into consideration the operations of the marina.

“Public access is a complex issue and we realize that no rule is ever going to be perfect. However, we appreciate the fact that many of our concerns were heard and we recognize that these changes are the culmination of significant efforts by the Department to allow for real opportunities to create meaningful public access by bringing common sense, reason and a respect for property rights to the rules,” said Melissa Danko, MTA/NJ Executive Director.

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