Millions of vacationers are flocking to New Jersey’s famous beaches to enjoy the freedom that summer affords.
It comes as no surprise that four out of the five most-visited counties in New Jersey are along the coast. Atlantic and Cape May Counties took first and second place respectively last year.
The shore is a state treasure. There are roughly 130 miles of Atlantic Ocean coastline for all of us to appreciate. It’s a place where our worries wash away and we make memories with loved ones.
We would be remiss if we forgot those who made sacrifices to protect what we hold so dear.
The least we can do for their sacrifices is provide free beach access.
Because shore towns control their beaches, they are each responsible for adopting their own military-friendly policies. They vary from town to town, and it is time the state sets a uniform policy.
The 14 state-owned beaches offer free admission, but only to state residents who are active members of the National Guard, disabled veterans, or veterans 62 and older.
There is no rationale to limit this small gesture of gratitude. Our veterans and servicemen and women didn’t put limits on the sacrifices they were willing to make in the fight for freedom.
I aim to expand free admission to all veterans, reservists, and active-duty military who are stationed or living in New Jersey with a bill I’m sponsoring, A834.
Regardless of whether they are permanent residents or stationed here, they will all be granted free admission. From Island Beach to Hopatcong and Hacklebarney to Belleplain, all the state’s forests, parks, recreation areas, and beaches would be free for everyone who answered the call of duty.
It is just a simple way to say thank you for your service.
I urge my fellow legislators to move this bill so all veterans, reservists, and active-duty military members can receive free admission this season.
Let’s pass this legislation and send it to the governor’s desk for his signature. Before we head down the Shore, let’s stand up and do what’s right.