I can't help but chuckle about the Great Beach Access Debate currently under way in New Jersey. We have the best beach access of any state I've ever been to on the East Coast. That would include, north to south, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Maryland, Delaware, North Carolina and Florida. Hell, when I was on Cape Cod, I couldn't find the ocean. (OK, I was in college, and there may have been confounding factors involved.)
 
Yes, there are a handful of places in New Jersey, on the northern end of Long Beach Island, where towns developed in such a way that too much of the beachfront is inaccessible - from the street - to nonresidents. But No.1: That's about three towns. And No.2: "From the street" is key. These towns can't keep you from their beaches if you are walking along the waterline. You just can't park anywhere in these towns. Or get to the beach without walking on private property or using the one, two or three public-access points. That's wrong. But in Connecticut, there are wire-link fences extending into the surf line to keep you off the rich folks' beaches.
 
In most of New Jersey, and virtually every place in Atlantic and Cape May counties (the nicest beaches in the state), just about every street ends at the beach, where there are steps allowing easy access. I'm just a guy from Somers Point. And I can drive over the causeway and park in front of $2 million houses in Longport or Margate ... and go to the beach. And if it's a really bad parking day, I have to park in front of the $725,000 houses another block or two back from the ocean and walk a few more blocks to the beach. I can deal with it. So can you.
 
Yeah, it's a problem if I have to take a leak, which ... uh ... happens a lot these days. But it was a problem when I was 6, too. You go in the ocean. Or, these days (sorry if I am revealing a secret here), you can go to the libraries in Margate or Longport to take a leak, or the beach bathrooms generously provided by Ventura's Greenhouse in Margate. How much easier does it have to be?
Really, New Jersey does not have a major beach-access issue.
 
 
 

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