Ocean Grove Given Violation Notice For Sunday Beach Closures By New Jersey

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On September 14, 2023, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJPED) sent a notice of violation to Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association (OGCMA) for its “faith-based closures.” Ocean Grove, known as “God’s Square Mile,” has privately owned the beach for generations and closed beach access to give residents the opportunity to attend church on 15 seasonal Sundays. The OGCMA President Michael Badger responded by claiming it is a “double standard” for NJPED to allow a neighboring community, Asbury Park, to close their beach several days for a music festival, while penalizing Ocean Grove for closing a couple of hours on seasonal Sundays. “It’s troubling that when it is known that the people who are seeking to get this reversed are doing it for anti-Christian sentiments, the regulation would be applied unequally compared to other beaches,” said Badger.