DEAL, N.J. – Beach access advocates are suing a New Jersey town they say has been among the worst in terms of allowing the public to get onto and use its shoreline.
The American Littoral Society is suing the borough of Deal, trying to nullify an ordinance that would vacate the end of an oceanfront street in return for $1 million from a nearby landowner.
The group fears a dangerous precedent may be set in which coastal towns give up their ownership of street ends and instead sell them to private landowners, with the new owners blocking off spots the public has long used to reach the sand.
Deal says no physical barrier will prevent people from walking out onto the rocks and the sand even after the street end is vacated.
But surfers and fishermen are worried that is exactly what will happen once the transfer goes through.