New Jersey Lawmakers Request Meeting with Coast Guard Officials to Discuss New Fence at Sandy Hook

Feb 27, 2004

Dear Chief Bone:

Recently, the United States Coast Guard erected a barbed wire fence blocking access to the renowned Sandy Hook Rip, about a mile of open beach where New Jerseys fishermen have enjoyed catching striped bass, bluefish and fluke for over a century.

The placement of this fence at the northeastern point of the Sandy Hook peninsula extending into the Atlantic Ocean was undertaken without public hearings and without going through the required state Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) permitting process. We understand that the NJDEP has found that the fence is not in accord with a federal consistency determination under the Land Use Regulation Program.

We are aware that the USCG cites security reasons for placing this barrier, and we appreciate those concerns. Both the Jersey Coast Anglers Association and the New Jersey Federation of Sportsmens Clubs, representing thousands of New Jersey and surf anglers, argue that this area is a public resource, held in the public trust for permanent access.

These are serious issues. We would like to meet at 12:30p.m. on Friday, March 12, at 504 Broadway, Long Branch, with appropriate USCG staff and representatives of the angler community to see how we might best protect public access for recreational fishermen. Please respond to Congressman Pallones District Director, Paul Dement, at 732-571-1140 at your earliest opportunity.

Thank you for your prompt response.

Sincerely,

Jon S. Corzine                   Frank R. Lautenberg           Frank Pallone

United States Senator        United States Senator          Member of Congress