HISTORY OF NEW JERSEY COASTLINE

C. F. Wicker

Abstract


The New Jersey coast probably is the most important recreational asset in the nation. This is due in part to the nearby densely populated metropolitan areas that experience unpleasantly hot and humid weather during the summer months. New York and its satellite communities, having a combined population of approximately 13 million, is only 50 miles from the nearest and 160 miles from the most remote of the 57 resort towns that dot the 125-mile length of New Jersey seashore. The Philadelphia metropolitan area, with a population of approximately 4 million, lies 60 miles from the nearest resort and only 86 miles from the farthest. But it is not merely geographic proximity to large numbers of people and the compulsion of uncomfortable weather at home that attracts 4 million vacationers and a great many one-day excursionists to the New Jersey seashore resorts each year. Nearly all of the 125 miles of shoreline is a satisfactory sandy bathing beach, and about 80% of it is open to the public at no charge. The ocean is not polluted, its temperature is approximately 700 throughout the summer months, and its surf is not dangerous. The 57 resort communities collectively offer a great variety of accommodations ranging from luxurious hotels to modest boarding houses and tourist camps, and the surroundings include highly developed areas, as at Atlantic City, as well as localities remaining in a natural condition. The development of this shoreline as a recreational resource began nearly two hundred years ago, at Cape May.

Keywords


breakwaters; groins; history; New Jersey

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