Thinking summer: Beach badges already sold out in Spring Lake, still available in other spots
A message on Spring Lake's website says they have stopped selling seasonal badges because they already reached the numbers from the summer of 2020.
The argument made by some is there are no uniform rules set in place by the town on how many people are allowed on each beach.
Photos from last summer show Spring Lake sold out, despite the beaches being empty. Badges went on sale last month and quickly sold out. Daily badges are usually made available, in addition to the seasonal badges, and depending on rules set forth by Gov. Phil Murphy, additional seasonal badges could still be made available depending on the severity of the coronavirus pandemic.
Belmar resident Bill McKim says there should be some uniform policy, so one beach doesn't end up with overflow crowds from neighboring towns.
According to the town's website, badges for the Spring Lake pools and lockers will be going on sale during the early part of the year.
In Bradley Beach, summer seasonal beach badges are still on sale coming off a banner 2020 season.
Belmar officials say they had record beach badge sales last summer and fears of widespread coronavirus outbreaks never materialized. In most cases, the towns control each of their beaches, meaning, they have to set their own guidelines -- which could vary from each municipality to the next.
John Weber, who is not only a Bradley Beach councilmember but also represents the Surfrider Foundation, says you have to balance COVID-19 safety protocols with the public trust doctrine, which is a law enforcing equal beach access to all.
Spring lake officials say while they sold out of seasonal badges, thousands more for the pavilions and lockers have yet to go on sale. Daily badges will also be available this summer.