With shore season near, remember to regularly check for beach statuses

Mark Abrams
May 14, 2019 - 3:50 pm
New Jersey’s new law banning smoking on public beaches and in parks statewide is now in effect. But the legislation lacks one important provision: who enforces it?

Mike DeNardo/KYW Newsradio


NEW JERSEY (KYW Newsradio) — With the start of the New Jersey beach season less than two weeks away, state environmental officials say there are plenty of resources for beachgoers to consult before they make the trek.

"New Jersey's water quality is exceptional. We rarely have closures at our ocean beaches," said Sheri Shifren, who manages the state beach monitoring program for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.


Speaking during a media conference call Tuesday, Shifren talked about the monitoring stations used to assess near-shore coastal water quality.

She also spoke of the network used to immediately alert the public to any health concerns at any of the Garden State's 600 coastal swimming beaches.

"Last season was extremely wet and we received an average of almost a half an inch of rain within 36 hours prior to sampling, she said. "Yet we still had only four water quality exceedance closures at ocean beachers, four at bay beaches and 13 at river beaches."

Storm water runoff was the primary cause of temporary closures.

Shifren said the best way to keep tabs on the status of your beach is at a website maintained by the Cooperative Coastal Monitoring Program.

"Our njbeaches.org website will be updated daily during the beach season," she added, "and includes water quality data, beach status information, whether a beach is open, has an advisory or is closed."