MONMOUTH BEACH - John Weber with the Surfrider Foundation worries that the new rules proposed by the Department of Environmental Protection would do little to pressure shore towns to provide greater access.

Under the old rules, towns were required to provide access, parking and public bathrooms. The state could deny beach-replenishment funding to towns that didn't comply.

Under the new rules, towns would come up with their own beach access plans, whatever they think suits their community best.

Two public hearings will be held next month before the new rules can be adopted. The state says the plan allows locals to do what's best for their communities. Environmentalists say it's a complete 180 from the stricter rules, which they say were starting to make a difference.