New Website Provides Info and Insights to New Jersey Beach and Waterfront Access

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SANDY HOOK–Getting answers about gaining access to New Jersey’s beaches and waterfronts will now be a lot simpler thanks to a new website launched by the New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium/New Jersey Sea Grant (NJMSC/NJSG).

The website, located at njcoastalaccess.org, offers specific legal information and tools that address defined coastal access needs and issues and enables New Jersey waterfront users, coastal communities, and land owners to deal with those issues cooperatively and hopefully without litigation.  The project was funded through a mini-grant from the National Sea Grant Law Center (NSGLC).

According to Jenny McCormick, Coastal Communities Agent for NJMSC/NJSG, who coordinated the New Jersey project, “It’s similar in design and function to the highly successful model website developed by Maine Sea Grant.  Users will be directed to begin their search by identifying the stakeholder category they represent.  From there they’ll be guided through a series of questions tailored specifically to that stakeholder group.”  McCormick noted that the site is user friendly and  features links to common law and statutes relevant to New Jersey, as well as pre-designed topic areas and pages.

McCormick also emphasizes the site is designed to help users understand how the law might apply to their needs but does not  provide legal advice, which is the application of law to someone’s specific circumstances. “We recommend people consult a lawyer if they want professional assurance that the information on the website, and their interpretation of it, is appropriate to their particular situation.”

Much of the original web site text content was compiled by Robert Kempf, a recent Rutgers law school graduate who researched New Jersey public access laws and regulations and collected information about resources relevant to the state.  He also drafted the initial website text based on his research and compilation.

The website will be monitored and updated regularly to reflect the frequent changes in legal rulings and state regulations affecting public access.  It will also serve as source for other public access resources and projects including a beach access survey being conducted by NJMSC/NJSG throughout the summer both on-line and on-site at selected beaches along the New Jersey coast.

NJMSC/NJ Sea Grant is an affiliation of colleges, universities and other groups dedicated to advancing knowledge and stewardship of New Jersey’s marine and coastal environment.  It meets its mission through its innovative research, education and outreach programs. For more information about NJMSC/NJ Sea Grant, visit  njmsc.org


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