Some Jersey Shore beaches banning tents, canopies this Memorial Day weekend


People hitting the sand along the Jersey Shore this Memorial Day weekend will have to contend with new rules restricting the use of structures like beach tents and canopies.

Officials say they are seeking to boost safety by enhancing lifeguards’ views of the sand and water, making it easier for lifeguards and paramedics to maneuver across the sand should there be an emergency. 

More than a dozen beach municipalities, including popular spots like Asbury Park and Sandy Hook, have some form of restrictions in place, according to Asbury Park only allows baby tents and umbrellas no bigger than 6 feet wide, while umbrellas smaller than 8 feet are only permitted at Sandy Hook, reports.

Elsewhere, North Wildwood and Brick Township have banned beach tents, canopies, cabanas and other similar structures in areas with lifeguards. Standard single-pole umbrellas are still allowed. 


North Wildwood Mayor Patrick Rosenello says the city’s beaches are starved for available spaces.

“We’re really just trying to make as much beach available as possible to as many people,” Rosenello told NBC New York. In some North Wildwood beaches, sitting space is at a premium during high tide, the outlet reports. 


Lifeguard watches over beachgoers in New Jersey

One reason for the lack of space on Jersey Shore beaches is severe erosion, with officials planning on carrying out beach replenishment projects to battle back against the elements. 

North Wildwood Beach Patrol Chief Bill Ciavarelli pointed out the safety benefits of the new rules. 

“Our biggest concern is any kind of emergency (or) medical emergency… We got to somehow get through this crowd with very little beach to get to people,” Ciavarelli told NBC New York.

“We’re not trying to ruin anyone’s fun at all. We’re just trying to have everybody give everyone an opportunity to enjoy it.”

At Island Beach State Park, which contains 10 miles of sandy beach and rolling sand dunes, visitors will likely be restricted to umbrellas only at the bathing areas from Memorial weekend, an official told 

Tents and canopies will still be allowed outside of swimming areas where cars are allowed on the beach. Ocean City will only allow tents and canopies smaller than 10 feet by 10 feet.

Officials there tell NBC that when there is lightning in the area, the structures make it difficult for park staffers to quickly clear people off the beaches.

People on beach

Meanwhile, there are no rules against tents or canopies in Atlantic City, reports.

Americans planning to travel for Memorial Day weekend are also likely to run into traffic jams and other delays as the country is poised to set a 20-year travel record, according to AAA.

The organization predicts that 43.8 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles between Thursday and Monday. U.S. airports are expected to be nearly as congested as the freeways as well, with the Transportation Security Administration saying up to 3 million people might pass through airport checkpoints on Friday alone. However, as in past years, most holiday travelers are expected to travel by car. 

Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report. 

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