The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is seeking applications from municipalities for grants to help them develop plans that improve the public’s enjoyment of New Jersey’s beaches, bays and tidal waterways and to make public access points and related facilities more storm-resilient.
The DEP’s Public Access Rule provides common sense mechanisms for the state to work cooperatively with local governments to enhance public access to New Jersey’s tidal waterways. The rules went into effect on Nov. 5, 2012 – just one week after Superstorm Sandy hit New Jersey.
“New Jersey already has great access to its beaches and tidal waterways,” Commissioner Bob Martin said. “Through the Public Access Rule, we are working to make access even better by setting up a framework that enables the DEP to work one-on-one with municipalities on plans that make sense locally rather than imposing one-size-fits-all mandates.”
“Superstorm Sandy hit as the Public Access Rule went into effect, understandably diverting focus from this important effort,” Commissioner Martin added. “This grant program helps us get us back on track by providing local governments with the financial tools they need to resume planning for public access enhancements.”
The DEP’s Division of Coastal and Land Use Planning will provide grant awards of up to $25,000 to communities to develop Municipal Public Access Plans (MPAPs) and to prepare Coastal Vulnerability Assessment (CVA) reports that evaluate steps that can be taken to make public access points and related infrastructure more storm resilient.
MPAPs consist of an inventory of public access locations, plus plans to develop or enhance access based on community needs and state standards.
Press Release, April 18, 2014