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NJ Island Beach State Park access

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Joined: 17 Oct 2002
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 5:29 pm    Post subject: NJ Island Beach State Park access Reply with quote

Hey everyone,
Currently at The Flats, all seems well. Both Kiteboards & Windsurfers have been launching there throughout the summer with no problems, I assume.
The Bait House has been converted into the kayak office/snack/bait store.
The southern bulkhead has been extended towards the east, thus eliminating the rusted chain link fence at that end. This has actually widened the access way.
A wooden split-rail fence has been installed along the entire northern boundary, actually giving it more parking spaces.

While this is all fine, I am curious about what is planned for the future.
Should we be pro-active and seek to influence future development?
Or do we leave well enough alone, and react after prohibitions are in place?

Would it be nice for windsurfers to have a grass rigging area within proximity to the launch?

I am interested in following up with my request to include SUP and Windsurfing at additional locations within Island Beach State Park.

Any other voices out there?

Last edited by windsurf23 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 16986

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No surprise here.

For many decades, on private/city/state/federal land in several states, for a wide variety of interests and sports and activities, I've found most agencies/caretakers/owners very receptive to a wide range of ideas, offers of help, and requests. Being proactive without being a PITA has garnered not only cooperation but invitations to submit written plans, help execute them, and even join the agency in an advisory capacity. "Merely asking" has gotten me everything from permission to launch my own gear from private home lawns on the Columbia to a private working lunch with the national director of the BLM and membership in federal-level working groups involving regional and national directors of name-brand federal agencies. Some agencies want just our ideas, some want ongoing involvement, and some want volunteers to organize/direct/man work parties; I've found only two entities who wish the public would all go to hell, and neither of those is an issue where you are.

Ask, be prepared to get involved, be pleasant and specific, back up any promises you make, and many if not most ideas that don't require big bucks become achievable. Wait until the toothpaste is out of the tube, and it's not going back in.

Example: determine the best spot for some grass, map it, get some idea what maintenance it may need (e.g., soil prep, irrigation, mowing, weed control the EPA will allow), explain why the grass is necessary, offer to install it yourselves or physically assist park staff in the process, etc. If the park has no funds, find some donors of grass, irrigation system parts, labor, borders if needed, etc.

The Columbia River probably has over 80 launches, the vast majority of which began, were developed, and are still managed wholly or in large part as above. Ground-roots efforts have changed local and state laws regarding WSing. It usually works to some degree, sometimes to a very high degree.

We don't want or need to be the experts on how to run a park; that's their responsibility. What we're experts at is knowing what facilities and rules and responsibilities suit our sport(s) best. Knowing what you're talking about, offering rational ideas, and offering help goes a long way with rational agencies. Telling the federal government, OTOH, that it must relocate all mines (as in gold, copper, coal, etc.) to ugly areas so they aren't blights and that you have an unalienable right to sit on any mountaintop without seeing any evidence that man exists -- as Wilderness Society national convention members did at the top of their lungs -- ain't gonna get very far.
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