Marina owners fight Jersey Shore beach access bill

The fight over beach access at the Jersey Shore just got bigger, as marina owners have joined the fray.

Marina owners say a bill giving public access to waterways would put an unfair burden on them.

Marina owners say a bill giving public access to waterways would put an unfair burden on them. (8/19/16)

FAIR HAVEN - The fight over beach access at the Jersey Shore just got bigger, as marina owners have joined the fray.

Jim Cerruti, owner of Fair Haven Yacht Works along the Navesink River, says marinas should be exempt from the plan to strengthen the public trust doctrine giving public access to waterways.

The bill could require marinas to provide public access 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Cerruti says docked boats need to be protected from misuse and possible theft. He says there are also liability issues with machinery and equipment if someone gets hurt.

Boaters are expressing concerns about the bill, too.

Proponents, however, say waterways should be available to everyone, not just people who can afford slips and big boats.

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