Brigantine’s Cove Beach Needs Better Regulation

Chris Howe Brigantine Borgata Cove beach
Cove Beach Out of Control?

Letter to the editor from Bart Algozzini: I am writing you this with suggestions for the Cove area on the beach. My wife grew up going to the Brigantine Beach and Cove, both by boat and SUV, and since, we’ve been patronizing your city for years, both businesses, and beaches.

For many years, we have purchased a pass for our SUV so we can drive onto the Cove and enjoy the day. The past two seasons we have become more and more disappointed in our experience.

Even though there was some improvement this past year by adding the clam shells to the entrance, the sand has become so deep in some areas that multiple vehicles are getting stuck daily there. If the city cannot assist with vehicles that are stuck – there can be disclaimers carried by the officers to sign off if there was damage if someone needed to be pulled out – then improvements need to be made to make it more enjoyable. This could be done by grading etc.

Additionally, it has become more evident that some folks have lost or just are not aware of the Cove etiquette while utilizing the beach. I have listed some examples below for your reference:

Those not adhering to the Cove etiquette should be given an initial warning, and repeat offenders should be penalized by losing their Cove privileges/passes.


1. Placing multiple chairs to hold spots. It should be first come/first served. Rule should be adhered to. In prior years, it wasn’t really an issue, but with so many passes being sold, it’s become one. People are parking three and four cars deep in some cases. If you get there between 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. on a Saturday or Sunday, you most likely won’t get a spot unless you find someone you know, and share space with them. People arriving by 9 a.m. and before 10 a.m. typically wouldn’t have an issue finding spots, unless, of course, multiple spots are being saved with beach chairs, etc.

2. Blocking other vehicles in. Too many times people just block a car in and leave to go find their friends to sit with. They don’t think to ask the person whose vehicle they are blocking before heading off. What if there was an emergency, and that person needed to get out in a hurry? If you can’t find a spot, the only vehicle you should be parking behind are those of your friends who you’re sitting with, unless, of course, you ask the person, and advise them as to where you’ll be sitting, so that they can contact you should they need to move up in case of tide coming in, or have to leave.

3. Drinking alcohol on the beach – the person that owns the vehicle where the ticket was given should have their pass pulled.

4. Walk-ons. Should at the very least have beach badges.

5. Overcrowding. If this continues, perhaps you can limit the permits to New Jersey or Atlantic County residents?

6. Fishing. This should not be allowed. Most people on the Cove are there with their children, grandchildren, etc., and are playing, floating, and/or swimming in the water. People also take walks down the beach. I understand people like to fish, and many, many years ago, the Cove was a fishing beach, however, it’s used by more folks as a swimming beach. Fishing causes a hazard to people walking, swimming, and to wildlife. Lines are thrown out, and you have to walk around them being cautious; hooks are left dangling from the poles which you also have to be cautious of in walking by or kids playing nearby; hooks have also come loose from fishing poles and become dangerous. We witnessed a little boy swimming in the water, and getting a hook caught in his groin area; and he came running up screaming from the water. Luckily, his father was able to pull it out, but, nevertheless, it shouldn’t have occurred; Bait being left on the hooks while they are left dangling; Seagulls fly down to get the bait, and hook gets caught in their mouths. Another incident we witnessed just a few weeks ago. If people want to fish, they should have a designated area for those that would like to drive on and fish away from the folks who want to swim and float in the water.

Rules of etiquette should be handed out when passes are purchased, and signed off on so that it’s known that they are fully aware and understand them. These rules of etiquette should be enforced by the patrons, and the officers that patrol the beach.

Since there is a fee associated with access, it went from an un-protected public beach, to a private beach based on the fee. Once fees are associated, then there should be some services that are rendered.

I am aware that every city is looking for revenue streams, but these passes, which there is no limit to how many are sold, have been a cash cow for the city with little manpower required to monitor its short season. Therefore, with the amount of money generated, it shouldn’t require much to keep the sand grated so that vehicles aren’t getting stuck on a daily basis.

Thanks very much for your attention to this matter.

Bart Algozzini

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15 thoughts on “Brigantine’s Cove Beach Needs Better Regulation”

  1. I come from Michigan every year with my children and wife for the past 35 years. I owned a house on the island and sold it before Sandy.

    Are you telling me I shouldn’t be able to buy a beach permit for my four-wheel-drive because I don’t live in Atlantic county? That’s the same mentality that is making your island a place NOT too visit!

    If you have small children and you don’t fish, take them where the lifeguards are. The Cove and Jetty has always been a place for fishermen, not to be bothered by kids… not being watched by a parent.

    Brigantine has too many rules now. Figure a away to attract business and help the second homeowners get a vote instead of worrying about YOUR parking spot on a beach that you or the city does NOT own‼️

    1. I sense a bit of inside entitlement in your post…
      Brigantine has too many rules is a real laugh-er!!! Brigantine aka Outback Island, no rules just right.
      Anyway, I think those were just some suggestions for safety, preservation and overall enjoyment.
      I don’t think any are that unreasonable.

      I think the cove should have special 4×4 beach passes… more money maybe $250 which would allow beach access everywhere plus the cove, then different 4×4 beach passes maybe $125 that allow for everywhere except the cove. Maybe limit the number of cove passes without any exclusions (then it would really turn in to friend and family cove).

      I think the cove should have designated fishing or swimming areas. Why should it be different than other brigantine beach areas that have designated swimming areas?

      Remember that Brigantine is also Insiders Island, different rules for different cliques so whatever the insiders and Municipal Welfare recipients want they get, whether its free 4×4 passes and etc.

      1. it should be different than other areas of the beach because its a bay!!! BEACH rules shouldnt apply to a BAY location. Also about having limited cove passes would make it easier? WRONG, it would only cause more agrivation to people who dont get one. no matter how hard u try this will not happen if you do not like the cove go to a different beach or leave brigantine and dont come back!!!

        1. you have a strict and narrow definition of beach. since you have the internet look of the definitions of beach, bay and inlet.

          again these are merely suggestions in effort the make the cove more enjoyable for ALL.

  2. This must have been written by an idiot. No permits for out of the state residents? Really?? And no fishing?! Yeah right, it’s a shore town on the bay, great fishing spots so get over it. Red cups rule the cove and beach for that matter, no bottles left behind, just as long as the driver isn’t drinking the police know what’s in those cups… Sounds like the person who wrote this article is a just a little to grumpy to fully enjoy the whole cove experience. And beach badges??? Why? So they can add life guards and whistles to REALLY annoy you? Maybe you should go to the North End and sit down there next summer. I would hate to have you as a neighbor, you sound old and rickety and maybe a throw blanket and a book in your living room is what you need!

  3. Was going there for years.till they sold passes to anyone who had a 4 wheel drive. Just to make money for the city.without even realizing how over crowded it has become.for once I would love some one do the right thing and limit the sales
    Also put in a decent .clean restroom.its the least the city can do.

  4. I have similar disagreements with Mr. Bart Algozzini and his comments. The Cove is a unique place and we enjoy it immensely. In fact, it is the moderate levels of insanity that we most enjoy. And , frankly, you’ll have to pry my Red Solo Cup out of my cold dead hands! The issue that I agree with is that there is an increasing lack of etiquette or simple good manners each year – this past year being the worst that we’ve experienced. We actually had to leave on day before Labor Day. A bunch of old fat guys simply pulled up behind us and proceeded to park their asses in beach chairs directly in front of us! Rudeness, however, cannot be legislated. It is why we simply don’t go on holidays any longer. Too many drunks, too many vehicles and too many a$$holes who simply have no regard for their fellow visitors. I can deal with double and triple parking so long as you ask my permission and don’t wander off forgetting that you are blocking me in. I don’t mind the fishermen – if you cannot figure out how to avoid a hook or line, go to 10th Street South. But we live within 400 yards of the entrance so we can go when we like. What I most mind – and it gets worse each year – is the freaking Jet Skis and the 45 to 50 year old ‘little boys’ that bring them. The noise, the smell of the fuel and exhaust, the amount of space that they demand can make for a very annoying day. My recommendation is that Jet Ski owners read the sign at the check point that plainly says “JET SKI BEACH” and park your noisy, smelly toys in a common area. It would make the time spent at the beach so much easier. Look, we moved to Sea Point so that we can walk back home rather than use the disgusting Porta-Potties. I get it – we’re blessed and it is hard to complain. I mean I get to drive on most mornings for my second cup of coffee to watch them raise the flag at the Coast Guard station. I love that damned beach. But please can we do something with the Skis?

  5. this is outrageous!! im a local in brigantine and will continue to be a local for the rest of my life. if shoobies have a problem on how the cove is just dont go! ive been going ever since i was a kid and its the same now as it was back then. the cove will always be 4 cars deep with fishing and other activities. all these SHOOBIES come down for the summer and think the island is theirs for the taking!!!

    1. curious
      are you a Brig Welfare recipient? are/were your parents, spouse?
      do you pay for your 4×4 pass?
      can you give examples of “other activities”? do they include bowel movements?

  6. If it wasn’t for shoobies and part time residents knobbs would have nothing to comment on and you wouldn’t be able to afford your illustrious police and fire and life guards ?

  7. I’d prefer no 4-wheel drive vehicles. This is a nice piece of nature and should be enjoyed by fishermen, not swimmers. It’s a great place to catch fish. You folks who want to swim and lay in the sun have miles of lifeguard protected beaches. Go there where you are welcome and your children are safer. Build a regular parking lot for 2-wheel drive vehicles and WALK to the beach. And let those of us who enjoy fishing use this special place to fish.

  8. We live on Lagoon Blvd, near The Cove. WE CALL IT THE ‘MEAN BEACH’. Locals walk around with shirts that say “Relax, I Live Here”. Everyone parks in front of my house so their friends can drive them down. We go to the jetty.. don’t want to have anything to do with the COVE DRAMA!

  9. Thoughts on Brigantine“leadership”, The Cove, and Four Wheel Drive Beach Access: $185 per year for four-wheel beach access, no beach tags required.

    The incompetent fools who run this town have no problem gouging non-resident homeowners with exorbitant taxes and less-than-HORRIBLE services. Have you checked-out the sorry excuse for beach paths (grossly over-grown)? How about the non-existent beach path fencing (time to let the State of New Jersey know about this)? Must all of roads and sidewalks in Brigantine look like bombed-out Beirut–holes, weeds growing out of cracks–embarrassingly disgraceful?

    All the while our “town fathers” give the grossly over-staffed and obscenely over-paid police and fire departments raises, FAT pensions, healthcare benefits and TWO hour lunches.

    These goobers in city hall financially rape the tax-payers to enrich themselves and their townie friends, but they won’t increase the annual $185 four-wheeler fee? They are IDIOTS.

    For non-Brigantine home-owners (produce a RE tax bill, pay $185) the four-wheeler fee should be $2000 per year (or $150 per day) per vehicle AND every person on the four-wheel beach should be required to buy a beach tag. These people who come from off-shore for a day on our beach are destroying the beaches, leaving the beaches a mess with all their trash and BRINGING NOTHING TO THE LOCAL ECONOMY–ZERO!

    If these non-tax paying shoobies, don’t want to pay $2000 / yr to bring their four-wheel vehicles, their 8′ long BBQ grills, their kegs and their coolers stuffed with beer, to NJ’s nicest beaches, FINE..let them go to to some other NJ beach and bring all their crap with them!

    OH !
    That’s right !!!!
    NO other NJ beaches permit any four-wheel drive access !!!!!

    Brigantine is the “only game in town” for four-wheel drive beach access.
    We have a corner on the market.
    BUT, the bozos running Brigantine, (who will screw the tax-payers every chance they get) won’t raise fees for permits for four-wheel beach access for folks who don’t live here, don’t pay taxes here, and bring nothing to the local economy

    As I said in the beginning of this post
    IMBECILES !!!!

  10. May I ask a simple question….whats the rationale for not requiring beach tags at the cove? Then a follow up question… compare that answer to requiring beach tags elsewhere?

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