4×4’s Pack Brigantine Beaches in 2016, Could Some Be Shut Out?

Brigantine beach 4x4 permits
4×4 Fun on Brigantine Beach

Brigantine recreation director Jim Mogan thinks the new 4×4 beach permit policy could pose a problem. City Council passed an ordinance providing no-charge 4×4 beach permits to active-duty military and veterans upon request. These 4×4 permit requests could reach 600 or more…much more. Applications are reportedly ramping up from all over the state, as well as far reaching parts of the country.

Those who pay upwards of $185 for a 4×4 beach permit are concerned. Will they be shut out from access to the beach on a sunny July Saturday? Dramatically increased truck numbers could max out the amount of 4×4’s that can fit on those portions of our beaches.

During Summer 2015, Brigantine Police closed SUV 4×4 access after beach traffic exploded during 4th of July weekend.

In other beach news: some on Brigantine City Council wanted the growing chaos at the uber-popular ‘Cove’ beach area to be tamed a bit. That’s welcome news for those that want to keep the area safe, clean & family friendly.

Imagine all of this…in one area: 3-deep rows of SUV’s parked side by side, fishing, jet-ski’s, red cups, motor boats, Water Weenie snack boat, toddlers, swimmers and those jagged / accessible jetty rocks. All of this can make for a really fun, but potentially dangerous day by the inlet between Brigantine and Atlantic City.

This waterside spot favored by locals has been going strong for years…oddly, without lifeguards. Plenty of lifeguard ‘saves’ and public safety ‘incidents’ have occurred without much news coverage. Eyewitness reports suggest that lifeguards have often been called to ‘The Cove’ from their posts along the front beaches of Brigantine.

Brigantine Councilman DeLucry offered COVE recommendations culled from a recent Brigantine Beach Committee.

Recommended are the following:

  • Placing lifeguards at ‘The Cove’ starting Summer 2016
  • Better, more user friendly entrances to Cove & jetty beach areas
  • Improved signage
  • List of user-friendly “rules of the road”
  • Change city code to restrict jet ski use at The Cove
  • Improve and extend beach paths

Editor’s Note: will beach tags soon be required at THE COVE? (we hope so, it’ only fair) Smart, economy-minded beach lovers are parking close by & walking to these freebie beaches which are mainly NOT guarded by the Brigantine Beach Patrol. Swim at your own risk.

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22 thoughts on “4×4’s Pack Brigantine Beaches in 2016, Could Some Be Shut Out?”

  1. The city needs to be diligent and enforce the rules of 4×4 passes by checking the 4x4s to make sure they are the registered and rightful owners. City also needs to enact strict laws prohibiting the use of passes not used by rightful owners.
    Giving away free passes has the potential to be a huge problem that brigantine city officials proven over and over again that they don’t possess the know how to implement quick fixed and handle (foreseen) problems.

    1. Can you imagine asking the city to enforce a policy of allowing only registered vehicles at the cove?
      They would need to create a list with all of the registered 4×4 licenses plates and sort them numerically followed by alphabetically, so that all the registered vehicles plates are compiled on one list.
      Then they would have to print the lists and give them to the access point guards.
      Then the guards would have to check the entering vehicles plates against the sorted list (which could take up to 30 seconds) to allow entry and turn away unregistered vehicles.

      1. It would only require a searchable data base or even a spreadsheet that could be installed on the PD cars computer. Even the officers’ cell phones could handle it.

    1. Is it your assumption that beach tag fees only cover lifeguard expenses?
      Lets charge a $5 per person environmental impact fee

  2. Natives and year round residents know this: Week-ends are the problem. The city should consider 3 separate passes (Jetty, Cove, North End) with unrestricted access during the week but restricted on the weekend with access only to the beach chosen by the permit purchaser and limits on the number of permits has to be considered. First come – first served. Additionally, the Cove is being destroyed by the number of Jet Skis and they really seriously need to be restricted. Children and Jet Skis are a dangerous combo. Add booze and it gets nasty. Beach tags must be implemented – the number of walk-ons is getting to be alarming and disruptive to those of us who pay to use those beaches.

  3. Instead of jumping into this 100% with the free passes 4 veterans why didn’t you just make it so that the veterans in the city of Brigantine or just the state of New Jersey you would allow the passes then if that went smooth you could include everybody. Instead you jumped into it 100% without thinking about the consequences. I would think with as many people that have something to do with this someone could have came up with a better solution.

  4. Something needs to be done for sure. I’m all for giving the vets free access. Perhaps as BrigLlifer stated…choose which beach you want….North…jetty or Cove…3 different color passes for each, charge say, $75.00 for each…if you want all 3…$185.00 with a rainbow colored permit. Came down 2 weekends ago and there was more vehicles on the beach with no pass or a expired one. Many NON-4X4 (a Suburu Ouback is not 4×4…it’s all wheel drive…not legal)

  5. “Brigantine for a couple of years has had a free veterans badge to go on the beach,” Pucci said. “On that same concept, why don’t we give them free 4×4 beach vehicle passes?”
    “They’re the ones that defended the beaches. Why should they have to pay to enjoy it?” Pucci said.

    What veterans need are good paying jobs, adequate healthcare, both physical and mental healthcare, not free beach passes and 4×4 passes. Pucci should dedicate his thoughts and energy to real help no handouts.
    Help in the fight for the “burn pit” victims and the Fukushima navy men! (Pucci: who?? what??)

  6. I am a recently retired employee of the City of Brigantine. There is a database of all permit holders including veterans which is transmitted daily to the city’s network accessible to dispatch. There are permit inspectors stationed at both the cove and the jetty with radios. They can contact a special police officer or dispatch if there is a problem. There is a supervisor of the permit inspectors who monitors the vehicles and can close the beach entrances at any time.

  7. I have a lot of mixed emotions on this one. First, I have be coming to Brigantine for almost 20 years as a 4×4 driver. I also have family that have lived in town for 30+ years. The front beach is getting out of control already when it comes to overloading vehicles. Adding free passes to veterans is going to be absolutely unbearable. The city should have started with local veterans maybe even in county veterans first. My second problem is with out of state 4×4 purchasers. I am not saying that the beach should be NJ residents only, but the out of staters should be paying a higher rate to acquire a permit. Every other state does it, why doesn’t Brigantine? The ones that really want it will pay for it, those who don’t will not. This could potentially free up some space in the sand. Someone comes for vacation and only has to pay $175 to drive on the beach. Why not make it $300? Revenue is not lost but some of the vehicle traffic is. I mostly just come down to fish September-Jan then April-June, I don’t know how much longer I can take the over crowding in the summer.

    1. Although this will never happen… the city should put together a 4×4 pass/cove panel or task force which would include people such as yourself to offer feedback on the economic and environmental impact on the 4×4/cove goers.

      Better yet appoint 4×4/cove goers as task force team leaders for continual updates on the monthly goings on.

      Those steps would require city leaders that actually care so until the city has leaders that care about the community and the impact of their decision and NON decisions nothing will change for the better.

  8. There should be several price points for 4×4 permits, As a vacation homeowner in Brigantine who pays a ridiculous amount in taxes, I find it offensive that I should have to pay the same $175 permit fee as someone who does not own a home on the island. I am not saying I should have to pay less because I believe $175 is a fair deal, but non residents should have to pay a premium (like $300-$500) for 4×4 beach access. It is a huge opportunity lost by this inept government. And yes beach tags should be required at all beaches including 4×4 beaches. That is a no brainer.

    Here is a suggestion of the various categories for permits:

    – Veteran (Resident of Brigantine) : Free
    – Veteran: $50
    – Brigantine Resident: $175
    – Non Brigantine Resident $350

    The government officials are completely negligent in leveraging a unique revenue producing asset which only Brigantine can offer. Just add it to the list of the compete mismanagement of what should be a premier South Jersey shore town.

  9. Mmmm…..This pot needs stirring……I am a born and raised 50= year resident of Brigantine..I have purchased a 4X4 permit almost every year since getting a drivers license…I will not be buying one this year…Here`s my story:…..Last year I went to the jetty early in the A.M. .to fish….there were already some trucks parked close to the jetty so I decided to park in the soft sand …as I parked a young woman walked over to me and told me I couldn`t park there…why I asked ..these spots are saved…Saved!? saved by/for who!? …we have friends coming down she said ….I looked around and saw that she had placed beach chairs across the sand to “save ” the spaces…..Really…well my permit says I can park here ..and so I did….this precipitated some very foul names being spewed by this little beach beast….ahhh.. but not to be out done I said things to make her cry….this prompted her to tell me her husband was coming….I pointed to the jetty ..I`ll be over there…..no one came over…but as I was leaving a guido looking guy approached me ..and questioned me about where I parked and how I talked to his wife….he told me they drive over an hour every sat & sun to come to the jetty and everyone knows that his crew parks in the same spot every time just like all the rest of the people….we went back and forth a bit and as I went to get in my truck he grabbed me ..as he picked his ass up off the sand I drove away……later I told my story to a few folks and they said this goes on all the time and at the cove as well…….So because of this( and other things).. I will not be buying a permit this year.( and I`m able to get a senior discount this year)….That`s my story ..Now here`s my thoughts on this whole 4×4 cove/jetty veterens thing…City council has made a big mistake this time …while I appreciate what service members do for our country I don`t think they should get free permits ….discounted yes free no…It should be half off like seniors …what should happen is out of state residents and non Island (Brigantine ) residents should pay a higher fee…..it`s done all over the state/country and in NJ in particular…there are resident and non resident licenses of all kinds….And keep the City Chamber of Commerce out of the decision making process….I would imagine if a poll was taken of the people that use the cove and jetty areas ..that a vast majority of them come from out of town bringing all of their supplies with them…never stopping at any of the island businesses…turning at the HBB light and going directly to either area….and leaving the city just as quickly…..the city needs to enforce the rules laws already on the books ..No alcohol..No under age drinking..No bar-b ques..No pets…No fueling of jet skis on the beach..(that’s a big one)…and isn`t it bad enough that some J.O. brought a portable toilet to the beach….and only 4 wheel drive vehicles on the beach…and No saving spots!……with all the free permits being given out this season people that spend $185 for one are going to be very disappointed…I won`t be buying one…….OH and as an aside ….never again have that ridiculous 4X4 parade on the beach…most of those “trucks” came from over the bridge and went back with-out ever stopping at a single business on the island …and a lot weren`t even street legal and had to be trailered…stupid idea!

    1. So the lady you made cry and her guido husband intimidated you so much that you never want to go back to the cove/jetty?

  10. Not intimidated at all …but with all the congestion traffic and nonsense that goes on at both locations …I`ll just stay away

  11. First Off Want To Say Love Brigatine, We Are A Three Generation Family That Been Coming For 40 + Years.Been 4×4 Onto Brigatine Beaches For Years, My Concern is the beaches are very difficult to drive on this year 2018, The sand is so deep and very fine soupy sand, I was on Seaside Rd Entrance Beach, 3 Times So Far in 2018 with grandchildren, and 12 of us stuck in This Unbelievable Sand all 4 wheel drive, Jeep’s, Trucks,of all kinds. Every Time Now Stuck.What’s Brigatine Going To Do ? We are families out for a nice Day, Not A Stressful day, PLEASE Help !!Help!!Those Beaches Are Trouble. They Need To Be Racked, Thinned. Measured 18 inches or More in areas you have no choose but to drive through, PLEASE Brigatine, Summer Just Started, My Family loves Brigatine.

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