The tony beaches of Sea Bright may start looking a little more like the sands of Seaside Heights this summer.
Forget the reality TV on the sometimes crowded beaches of Seaside Park. The new action is going to be at Sea Bright, where New Jersey has resolved beach access disputes with six private beach clubs in the Monmouth County community.
The state sued the town and the beach clubs in 2006, claiming the clubs profited by charging fees for use of beaches built and maintained through publicly funded beach replenishment and beach nourishment projects.
"The public will be able to use and enjoy substantially more beach area," said Acting Attorney General Ricardo Solano. His comment came in a release announcing an agreement with six of the private clubs to dramatically open up the amount of sand the public can use in front of their establishments.
Currently, the public has a limited right to five yards of beach between the Mean High Water Mark. The new deal reached with the clubs will let you spread out your blanket, show off your muscles and your bikinis for at least half the beach going back from the Mean High Water Mark, up to 50 yards.
That's plenty of room to pose for the cameras, quaff a cold drink and enjoy the sun, and the scenery.
The Borough of Sea Bright was also a part of the deal, and it will have to fork over more than half a million dollars to a fund to pay for public-access improvements.
State officials say the seven separate settlements announced Wednesday will significantly expand the amount of beach open to the public. They say the clubs also have agreed to contribute to a fund that will be used to build additional public access amenities in Sea Bright.