Why your actions might be to blame for costly beach badges in NJ
Are you part of the reason New Jersey still has costly beach badges? You just might very well be, depending on your actions.
Summer at the Jersey Shore means fun and good times at the beaches. But it also means we have to shell out more money just to access that sand that's otherwise free from Labor Day to Memorial Day, with a few exceptions here and there.
Yes, everyone should head to the beach in New Jersey at least once during the summer. There's just something about the Shore region that draws millions of people to it every year.
It's one of the reasons why I love living at the Shore. Being born and raised by the beach allows you to appreciate the summer season that much more when it arrives.
Now are there things I don't like about the summer season here? Sure there are. The sheer volume of traffic that comes with this time of year is certainly up there on the list.
Traffic aside, the cost of just having a good time is also something many locals might not be fond of. And I'm not talking about the rides or food, either.
The cost to park is one of those insane expenses. Not all, but many locations along the coast charge an absolutely ridiculous amount just so you can park your car.
But perhaps the most annoying expense we have to pay is for us to have access to the beach. We're the only state in the country that charges to have access to the vast majority of our public beaches.
Beach badges have been around for a long time now. And during the summer months, towns up and down the Jersey Shore proudly bring this ridiculous tradition back just so we can set foot on the sand.
Now yes, a bunch of towns probably like the added revenue beach badges bring to a community. Some might claim it's necessary to maintain the beach and keep it clean.
But if it's so necessary to do that, then how come all other coastal states can maintain their beaches without the need of charging for access? What's more, how do they do a better job of it when that extra funding isn't available?
Well, that might be where you come in. You might very well be the excuse some towns might target as the reason we need beach badges in the first place.
Now before we go any further, let me reiterate that this is highly dependent upon your actions. If you're guilty of this, you'll know right away.
It's no surprise that a lot of our beaches throughout the summer season tend to have a lot more litter on them than at any other time of the year.
Of course, the volume of people also plays a role. We have a lot more visitors at the shore during the summer than we do at any other time of the year.
The bigger problem we have this time of year is the amount of trash people leave behind on the beach when they wrap up their day. And if you're one of those people, then you are part of the reason why we can't get rid of beach badges.
Not everyone, but enough of you are absolute pigs that can't clean up your own trash and carry it to a garbage can. Every year it happens, and every year we rely on the cleaning crews our beach badges help pay for to clean up the litter we ultimately should be responsible for.
Is it because we're on vacation and just don't care? Why do some have to treat our beaches like their own personal trash bin?
And if this is you, then why? Why do you do it? Is it because we know we have cleaning crews those beach badges pay for? Or are you just that inconsiderate and don't really care in the first place?
More likely than not this is thanks to those who visit the region and not locals directly. But then again, anyone could be guilty of this problem that creates an issue for towns that must maintain their beaches.
Unfortunately, it probably won't stop, and that's a big part of the reason why costly beach badges aren't going anywhere. As long as they have you, the careless slob, then we can all rest assured they'll always be an excuse to keep beach badges in place so we can afford to clean up after you.
And in case you're wondering, here's how expensive it'll be to get that badge up and down the Jersey Shore this year to help pay to keep our beaches clean. Note that some locations have gone up when compared to a year ago.
2023 Beach Badge Prices For The Jersey Shore
Again, if you clean up after yourself, then none of the blame is on you. Hopefully, those who are guilty of leaving their trash behind will eventually get the hint that they're part of the very reason we need costly beach badges in the first place.
It's simple. Let's all clean up after ourselves so we can at least remove this as one of the reasons why we need those badges.
New Jersey may never scrap the concept of beach badges (after all, it is New Jersey), but we could at least do our part to help keep the cost of badges down and our beaches clean.
Why you shouldn't visit the Jersey Shore this summer
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Mike Brant. Any opinions expressed are his own.