Harvey Cedars to Try Surfing Outside the Flags at 80th Street

Oct 18, 2017

Harvey Cedars will allow surfing outside the flags at the 80th Street beach on a trial basis for next summer, the borough announced last week. The move came in response to a petition filed last summer by borough resident Mike Kramer, who with his HC Outside the Flag coalition amassed approximately 3,000 signatures. The group noted that Harvey Cedars was the only LBI community that had not yet allowed surfing outside of the designated swimming areas.

Borough Commissioner Michael Garofalo, who is public safety chairman, said surfing will still be subject to the beach patrol’s discretion.

“It’s possible that surfing would not be allowed on a day when there are certain ocean conditions, or if the lifeguards felt that it would create an unsafe situation,” said Garofalo. “Safety of swimmers and surfers is most important.”

Currently, Harvey Cedars allows surfing all day on Hudson Avenue, as well as near the north and south edges of town.

Police Chief Robert Burnaford, who once was a borough lifeguard, said that allowing surfing at 80th Street was a “fair compromise.”

“My feeling at first was that the lifeguards have a lot to do in watching the swimmers in the protected area,” said Burnaford. “With surfers nearby, that could greatly broaden the scope of their work as they would have to watch beyond the swimming area. But I also understand the views of the people who want surfing, so doing it on a trial basis at one particular area should give us a good idea whether this can work out.”

Kramer said, “We are encouraged with this as a first step and want to thank Mayor Oldham, Commissioner Garofalo, Chief Burnaford and Lifeguard Capt. (Randy) Townsend for working with us in this effort. We did ask for some specific parameters around how the trial’s success would be measured and, if successful, expanded.  We were not provided with any specific parameters, however were told that the town leadership would review the trial at the end of the 2018 season. While we believe this is positive momentum for our movement, we also understand that this trial may be disappointing to the local surfing community due to its limited space. We would like to remind all of our supporters to use their own voices to get involved, whether in letter form, or at the bi-monthly commissioners meeting at 4:30 p.m. at the borough hall on the first Friday and third Tuesday of each month. We need the continued support of our local surfing community to ensure forward momentum.” — E.E.

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