Beach opening set for June 20

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Bay Head will be officially opening their beaches to the public on June 20. Seven of the 11 beach access points in the borough are currently open, with each featuring a new green-and-red sign spelling out new regulations all beachgoers must follow. (MARK R. SULLIVAN/THE OCEAN STAR)

BAY HEAD — Borough officials have confirmed several of the municipality’s beachfront access points are currently open with social distancing guidelines in place.

“We came to the determination that we were going to open seven of the street ends out of the 11, mostly to keep people from going to certain areas but also because the jetty work is going on out there right now still,” Chief of Police William Hoffman said.

“We have Osborne Avenue and North Street open, which are on the north side; we’ll have two in the middle open, which is Bridge Avenue and Howe Street; and then we have the three southernmost [access points] open, which are Johnson, Egbert and Strickland streets.”

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According to the chief, signs have been posted at all beach access points outlining regulations beach-goers will need to follow. Activities allowed include fishing, surfing, walking, jogging and sitting, as well as dogs if they are leashed. Activities not allowed include swimming, sitting on platforms, picnicking and organized sports.

“We have signs posted at every street end, whether it is open or not, on what you can and cannot do right now on the beach,” Chief Hoffman said. “Right now our beaches are open to the public with the restrictions that are posted on the signs.

“We are going to be out on patrol for large gatherings. We will be out there looking for social distancing … so I will have extra patrols out on the beaches with the patrol trucks and or the ATV.”

Mayor William Curtis addressed the current beach situation.

“The beaches are open. They will stay open but the official date where we need badges right now is June 20,” he said. “This past weekend … was beautiful and I think there was only one issue, so we are kind of doing a soft opening … but it worked out well this weekend so we are staying open.”

The Bay Head Improvement Association has announced its office hours for summer beach badge sales, scheduling a tentative opening date to welcome back beachgoers to the borough.

The BHIA office hours for badge sales will be June 6 to June 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. While access to the beaches is currently available, the official opening day is scheduled for June 20, where from there on in the BHIA office hours will be 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. everyday through Labor Day.

“Things seem to be progressing well. We are going to open on June 20, hopefully, putting as many safeguards in place as possible,” said President Tom Gage. “We’ll certainly watch the activity as far as the number of people [on the beach] is concerned and control it accordingly.

This is an excerpt of the print article. For more on this story, read The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.

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