Boaters Petition Feds to Reopen Popular Cove in Brick
Boaters are planning to petition federal lawmakers to get a popular manmade cove in Brick Township opened back up to the public.
During a recent meeting in Brick Township, the Manager of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge told angry boaters and town council members that the F Cove and T Cove would be off limits to the public at least through the summer of 2012.
The manmade F Cove and nearby T Cove, were dug out decades ago for the construction of waterfront condominiums. However, the condominiums were never built and the lagoons and surrounding land eventually became a part of the National Wildlife Refuge.
For many years, recreational boaters pulled their boats along the shallow sandy bottom of the lagoons as a place to dock away from the winds and currents along the Barnegat Bay. Adam Markowitz of North Brunswick says the F Cove was one of his favorite destinations. "We'll boat around the Bay and we always end up at the F Cove, at least for a little while, my friends, my friends Grandparents, everybody has been going their for years. It's just a place to just relax for us."
However, if you go to YouTube and bring up F Cove, the popularity of the lagoons have exploded. Brick Mayor Steve Acropolis says on a summer weekend, the F Cove can draw over 100 hundred boaters to party. "I've been going back there for 25 years and it wasn't anywhere's near. Now I don't know whether it was the Jersey Shore television show that went their that got a lot of people to go. I don't know whether it was the advertisements in North Jersey that said that the number one place to go on a boat at the Jersey shore is F Cove and they told you where it was. I don't know how it got to be to the point that it is now.
Because of this, the cove is no stranger to law enforcement officials. Acropolis says there have been reports of drunken boat operation, sexual assaults, illicit drug use, underage drinking and physical assaults in the F Cove but he says that can happen anywhere. Acropolis says what he's trying to do is to work with Fish and Wildlife to develop a plan over the next 12 to 18 months to make it public accessible. "Make it public access, whether it's the walking trail behind F Cove which goes up into the marsh lands up their and there is a trail back there or the waterway itself. To open it back up to Brick residents and all the residents of Ocean County at some point and to regulate it."
Markowitz says the stance of his friends, many of whom are Brick residents, says "it's once again government extending their power where it shouldn't be."
A refuge manager says a formal review will begin next fall to determine the scope of public access if any.
Brick resident Michael Langsner says letters will be written to local Congressmen and Senators to intervene and petitions are circulating.
Get more information about the lagoons at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife web site .