Banning tents and canopies on New Jersey beaches is a good thing

My favorite beach on the New Jersey coast has finally taken the step and announced that tents and canopies will be banned from swimming beaches.

This recent announcement filled me with joy.

Over the past month, Brick Beach and Wilwood have also announced a ban on tents and canopies.

This news has provoked mixed reactions…

Maybe I'm a bit of a beach snob, but I always hated Tents and canopies on the beach.

I have a long list of things that I avoid doing at the beach, but we won't go into all of them here because I don't want to be bombarded with comments on Facebook telling me that if I don't like it, I just shouldn't go to the beach…

But I digress.

Some of the comments about Island Beach State Park were not too positive.

  • “That's exactly why we left New Jersey. The man there is always trying to tell you how to live your life.”
  • “People of New Jersey: If it’s not over-regulated, it’s illegal.”
  • “Oh, the memories of why I left Jersey.”

Some people pointed out that umbrellas posed a greater safety risk than tents and canopies.

  • “Personally, I think that single-mast umbrellas are also very dangerous and should also be banned!!”
  • “We just need to include umbrellas with anchors. Nothing else will change.”
  • “The small umbrellas are the dangerous ones that can fly away”

Others were at the edge of the park.

  • “What a bunch of complainers. This park is a natural gem and the staff tries to curb the entitlement that you see at every other beach on the East Coast, let alone the New Jersey shore. If you don't like that and don't trust your park staff, there are plenty of other beaches.”
  • “That's good. Some people like to build mini villages.”
  • “I hope all other beaches follow your example.”

My biggest complaint about tents and canopies is that they can ruin a beautiful view.

Sure, some people set up camp facing the dunes, but that doesn't mean everyone does.

I can see over beach chairs and around umbrellas, but unfortunately I'm not Superman and can't see through your Coleman tent.

The tents can also block a nice and cooling sea breeze.

I've heard the argument that they're great for fair-skinned people…

I am one of those very light-skinned people (I like to say I'm alabaster-skinned) and it would never occur to me to take a whole tent with me.

Erosion on the Jersey Shore beach

It's no secret that many of our beaches are battling erosion and the state is combating this through dredging, but it's still a long and difficult battle.

As beaches become smaller, there is less and less space for people to enjoy the beach.

When people bring large tents and canopies, they take up more space and prevent others from enjoying the beach. Then the canopies are usually combined with a large folding table, which means the people using the canopy sit outside of it, taking up even more space.

Remember to be kind and rewind?

Well… be a gentleman and don't bring a tent.

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Anna Harden

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