STONE HARBOR — Citing an increase in complaints about people accessing a conservation area, police plan to more strictly enforce the borough’s code regarding access to that area, police said Thursday.
The borough will ban people from accessing its beaches, including Stone Harbor Point, via any watercraft, motorized or otherwise, according to a news release.
The by-law does not prohibit the use of watercraft as permitted elsewhere by the borough code. Operators are free to use the waterways around Stone Harbor Point but are not permitted to access the beach from the water.
Police said there had been an increase in the number of boaters, swimmers and sunbathers at Stone Harbor Point, a bird habitat that is a stopover for migrating shorebirds. The area is subject to a conservation easement and a protection plan for the birds that inhabit the area.
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The calls specifically mentioned watercraft anchoring or mooring near the shore and accessing beaches from the water, police said.
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“Borough environmental stewards, who monitor and monitor wildlife and activity at the tip, communicated that access to the tip’s beaches from the water directly disrupts the wildlife reserves and ecosystems that the borough has long sought to protect,” police said. .
Police said the borough does not plan to restrict the rights of the community of boaters, beachgoers and those visiting the habitat; it plans to balance these rights with health, safety and environmental concerns. Police added that access to the beach by any watercraft is potentially dangerous and Stone Harbor Point’s location to emergency services makes rapid response difficult.
“We appreciate the cooperation and understanding of everyone involved as the borough continues to promote its valuable natural resources while protecting them,” police said.
Contact John Russo: 609-272-7184