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Group Calls For Stronger, Not Weaker, Beach Access Rules In New Jersey

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) - An environmental group Wednesday presented the New Jersey governor's office with more than 1,000 postcards calling for the state's Department of Environmental Protection to back off plans to revise beach access rules in the state.

The Surfrider Foundation, based in California, put the postcard campaign together.

John Weber, the group's regional spokesman, says allowing towns to develop their own beach access plans just won't work.

"Historically, if anyone's going to restrict beach access in New Jersey, it's been a town," he told KYW Newsradio.

The DEP plans to link each town's ranking on a funding list for beach replenishment to the town's compliance with access rules.

But Weber notes that's not in writing.

DEP advisor Ray Cantor concedes that, although he notes that the old rules had a direct link that was thrown out in court.

"The courts held that the department does not have the legal authority to tie beach replenishment funding to providing access. That is up to the legislature," Cantor says.

But proposed changes in the New Jersey legislature haven't gotten very far.

Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio 1060

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