This was the scene in Long Branch on Sunday after two days of rainy weather. Officials say it is difficult to monitor the ebb and flow of people going onto the beach, making social distancing difficult. Ed Murray /

NJ - How Can Shore Towns Keep Beaches from Being Overrun by Crowds? It’s Complicated.

It’s July in Jersey, we’re tired of being stuck home, and flying to exotic locales isn’t in the cards, so down the Shore we go.

But how can Shore towns enforce social distancing rules and prevent crowds on sunny weekends, especially when so many people want to plant their chairs in the popular areas near bathrooms, restaurants and amenities?

It’s complicated.

Officials in Long Branch faced just that scenario on Sunday afternoon, causing police to temporarily block beach access near Pier Village, advising visitors to try again in an hour and directing them to other areas of the 2.5-mile beach.

In nearby Belmar and Point Pleasant, beach access points were also closed during parts of the day due to overcrowding.

Read more.