TRENTON - New Jersey environmental officials have approved a revision of the state's public access rules for beaches, bays and tidal waterways.

Officials say the new rules maintain existing public access, while granting more power to local communities to write their own access plans, subject to state approval.

The DEP says the rules apply to 231 municipalities from the New York-New Jersey Harbor region.

The Public Access Rule was signed Wednesday, and will take effect Nov. 5.

The DEP revised the existing rules after the state was sued over more stringent mandates that required public access every quarter-mile, along with adequate parking and restrooms.