STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Don’t pack up your sunscreen and beach chairs just yet. Many New Jersey beach towns have extended the summer season this year, keeping lifeguards on duty — and beach badges required — throughout September.
Budget crises faced by many towns forced the decision, since legal constraints created by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic required reduced capacity at beaches. Additionally, the on-site dining and entertainment restrictions towns faced on Memorial Day weekend have now been lifted, allowing beach-area businesses to make up for lost time.
September often provides great beach weather, and many students are taking classes remotely, offering a bit more free time, so several town governments made the decision to keep summer going a bit longer — providing a rare bright spot to the year 2020.
Some towns will have lifeguards and require beach badges and their accompanying fees daily, while others will do so only on weekends through the month of September. Some popular N.J. shore beaches, such as Belmar, Spring Lake and Sandy Hook, remain closed to swimming after Labor Day 2020.
The following Jersey Shore towns have extended their beach season:
Asbury Park: Beaches will be open and staffed Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on weekends, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Beach badges will be required to access the beach seven days a week during beach hours through Wednesday, Sept. 30. Current season beach badges will be valid through Sept. 30.
Atlantic City: A limited number of beaches will be open through Sept. 30, according to the city website.
Avon-by-the-Sea: Lifeguards will be on duty this weekend and Sept. 19 to 20 at select beaches. Beach badges are required.
Bradley Beach: The beach will be staffed weekends through the end of September.
Deal: The season has been extended for an extra weekend, with Deal lifeguards on duty this weekend.
Ocean Grove: The season will be extended to include this weekend and Sept. 19 to 20. Lifeguards will be on duty and badges will be required.
Sea Girt: Lifeguards will be on duty daily until Sept. 30, and bathrooms and the pavilion will remain open. Beach badges will only be required on the weekends.
Island Beach State Park: Beaches will have lifeguards on duty from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday to Sunday through Sept. 27.
Long Branch: All Long Branch public beaches will remain open until Sept. 30 this year, and lifeguards will be on duty from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends. Season badges have been extended to be valid through Sept. 30. Daily beach passes may be purchased from badge checkers at the beach.
Manasquan The beaches will be guarded by lifeguards on Sept. 19 and 20. Beach bathrooms will remain open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Sept. 20.
Middletown: Middletown will keep restrooms open until 9 p.m. through Sept. 20. The beach will have lifeguards on duty from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. this weekend and Sept. 19 and 20. Lifeguards will not be on duty and the pavilion will be closed during the week. Restrooms will continue to be open daily through the Sept. 20.
Ocean City: The Ocean City Beach Patrol will guard several beaches through Sept. 20 and a few more through Sept. 27, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekends, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week.
Brighton Place, 10th Street and 11th Street will be guarded until Sept. 20. St. Charles Place, Eighth Street, Ninth Street, 12th Street will be guarded until Sept. 27.
Seaside Heights, Seaside Park: Both towns will have lifeguards on duty on weekends through Sept. 27. Seaside Heights is requiring wristbands daily through this weekend, and then weekends only after that.
Ortley Beach: Ortley Beach will have lifeguards on weekends only through Sept. 27, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., weather-permitting. On weekends, seasonal badges will continue to be honored and daily badges will continue to be sold.
Long Beach Island
Barnegat Light: Ninth Street: Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; 18th, 22nd and 25th streets: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, weather-permitting through September.
Beach Haven: Lifeguards will work the Centre Street beach from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Sept. 20.
Harvey Cedars: Lifeguards will be on duty at the Middlesex Avenue beach from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Sept. 29. They will also guard the beach at 80th Street from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends through September.
Long Beach Township: The township will have lifeguards 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through September at the following beaches: 68th Street in Brant Beach; 81st Street in Beach Haven Crest; 131st Street in Spray Beach; 25th Street in Spray Beach, and the first beach in Holgate south of Beach Haven, according to The Sandpaper. In addition, 47th Street in Brant Beach and 96th Street in Beach Haven Crest will have lifeguards on weekends.
Ship Bottom: Lifeguards will be on duty at Seventh, 15th and 20th streets through Sept. 30.