Asbury Park Press

Advocates sue Shore town over beach access

An environmental advocacy organization has filed a lawsuit against a Jersey Shore town, saying the action is to protect public beach access.

The Highlands-based American Littoral Society says Monmouth County’s Deal Borough sold the end of Neptune Avenue to waterfront developer ICC Neptune Avenue, LLC, which owns an adjacent lot, for $1 million.

“Neptune Avenue is used by the general public, fishermen, and surfers to access the beach for recreational uses,” said Tim Dillingham, Executive Director of the American Littoral Society. “We are taking this action to prevent the loss of this important public accessway to the beach, and to ensure that other towns aren’t tempted to sell off the public’s rights to the highest bidder.”

The street end is included as a beach access point on the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s New Jersey Public Access locations website, Dillingham added.

Andrew Provence, legal counsel to the organization, says New Jersey courts in the 1850s recognized the value of street ends in providing the public access to the shore.

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