Regarding the Aug. 27 news article “Emerald Isle lawsuit may define beach access”: Why do people from New Jersey drive 10 or more hours to vacation at North Carolina beaches?
Apparently one answer is because in New Jersey and many other states owners of beachfront property block access to “their” beaches. The public, including people staying on the second row of cottages or hotels, is restricted to a few very overcrowded public beaches.
In North Carolina, as the appeals court panel noted, “(W)e take notice that public right of access to dry sand beaches in North Carolina is so firmly rooted in the custom and history of North Carolina that it has become a part of the public consciousness.” As the recent court ruling stated, “Native-born North Carolinians do not generally question whether the public has the right to move freely between the wet sand and dry sand portions of our ocean beaches. Though some states, such as plaintiffs’ home state of New Jersey, recognize different rights of access to their ocean beaches, no such restrictions have traditionally been practiced in North Carolina.”
North Carolina has had traditions that deserved to be overturned, but the tradition of public access to the dry beaches should be staunchly preserved.