Despite social media rumors to the contrary, Brick’s ocean beaches are open, staffed with lifeguards and groomed daily, officials said.
The installation of a steel wall revetment over the course of last fall and winter, plus the lack of a beach replenishment project that was supposed to have started by now, led to the rumors online stating that the township’s beaches were off limits this year. But nothing is farther from the truth, said Dan Santaniello, director of the township’s recreation department.
“Once they get there, they’re shocked,” said Santaniello, of beachgoers who are surprised at the size of the ocean beaches. In some areas, the beaches are the widest they’ve been since Superstorm Sandy hit in 2012. “We’re all happy to be trying to put Sandy behind us now.”
Lifeguards are now on duty seven days a week, from 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. The beaches are also groomed daily for cleanliness purposes, and the snack stands at Beach I and Beach III are open for business.
Seasonal beach badges can now be purchased for $30 at the beach every day during guarded hours, or at the recreation department office in Civic Plaza on Chambers Bridge Road. Senior citizens age 65 and over, as well as children 12 and under, can get on the beach for free. A season parking pass is $30, though a $15 pass exists for seniors. Daily badges are $5 and daily parking is $5.
Santaniello said lifeguards usually spend the first hour of their day training, and beachgoers who make it to Beach III in the morning can see them doing so. While the training is going on, other beaches remain guarded by a small lifeguard staff.
“They do a great job watching the ocean and watching our children out there,” said Mayor John Ducey.
Brick practices a number of safety regulations. Lifeguards ensure that all swimmers are out of the water before they leave, and people using body boards and surf boards have their own respective areas where the boards are allowed. As usual, a green flag means swimming is permitted, a yellow flag denotes caution (lifeguards may restrict swimming to knee-deep water or a small area on such days) and a red flag means conditions are too dangerous for swimming, Santaniello said.