Holgate Will Be Off Limits to Vehicles This Fall
Future plans to restore entrance will have to be reviewed by DEP
There will be no beach buggy access to the Holgate portion of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge when it reopens to the public Saturday.
Foot traffic will be permitted, but vehicular traffic will not, said Don Freiday, the refuge's Visitor Services Manager.
For years, the refuge has been known as an excellent location to catch striped bass during the fall fishing season, and anglers normally used their four wheel drive vehicles to access the entirety of the 2.5 mile-long beach, located at the southern tip of Long Beach Island.
But last year, erosion forced the closure of the vehicle access point, which is owned by Long Beach Township.
The entrance was closed because erosion caused the path to the beach to become unstable, leading to fears that a vehicle could tumble into the ocean, said Township Administrator Lynda Wells.
Years ago, she said, vehicles had gone into the water and were unable to be recovered.
Any future improvements to the access point would be subject to a review by the state Department of Environmental Protection, Wells said. It is now closed until further notice.
The beach area of the refuge will remain open to visitors on foot from Sept. 1 through March 31, as always. Pedestrian are allowed to access only the beach area and must stay out of the dunes, Freiday said.