NJ Rock-Jumping Ban to Get Extra Enforcement

By Brian Thompson
|  Saturday, Aug 7, 2010  |  Updated 9:15 AM EDT
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NJ Rock-Jumping Ban to Get Extra Enforcement

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NJ Rock-Jumping Ban to Get Extra Enforcement

New Jersey's DEP is promising stepped up enforcement of a ban on rock jumping and swimming at one of its more pristine lakes, Split Rock Reservoir in Rockaway Township.
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New Jersey's DEP is promising stepped up enforcement of a ban on rock jumping and swimming at one of its more pristine lakes, Split Rock Reservoir in Rockaway Township.

YouTube videos of teenage boys jumping off high rocks has township officials worried about serious injury or even death, and at one point Mayor Louis Sceusi even had the gravel access road to the lake barricaded in order to force the state's hand.

"There were kids coming up here saying 'Where do I dive, where's the party?'" Sceusi told NBCNewYork.

Split Rock is actually an undeveloped drinking water source owned by Jersey City, and until 6 or 7 years ago was entirely closed to the public.Now it can be used by non-powered boaters such as kayakers but in order to prevent over-use, swimming is still off limits.

Joe Grieco, 20, of Montville has plenty of friends who rock jump.

"It's a fun day off," said Grieco, who added "It's a big hang out for kids my age," who made clear he does not rock jump.

After barricading the access road for a few days, Mayor Sceusi had the concrete blocks removed following an agreement the state reached with Jersey City that allows DEP officers to enforce the "no swimming" and "no rock jumping" rules on the lake itself.

"In addition to extra patrols at the boat launch parking area, we will be sending officers onto the trail around the reservoir," said Timothy Cussen, Chief of the Bureau of Law Enforcement in the DEP's Division of Fish and Wildlife.

A summons can cost a rock jumper as much as $1500, and also incur a criminal trespass penalty that could result in jail time.

Follow Brian Thompson on Twitter @brian4NY and follow us @NBCNewYork,and on Facebook/NBCNewYork, and sign up for breaking news SMS alerts on your phone by texting “NYBREAKING” to 639710.

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