WASHINGTON, D.C.— Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) expressed concern recently that the 2012 National Parks Service fee schedule for entrance to Sandy Hook beaches may mean less visitors. Under the current proposal, daily parking rates will jump from $10 per car to $15 per car and annual season passes will increase from $50 to $75.
In response to Congressman Pallone’s urging, the National Park Service actually reduced the Sandy Hook rate increases from their initial proposal, which would have doubled fees across the board.
“With gas prices rising, and so many New Jersey residents still struggling in these difficult economic times, such a high fee hike for visitors to Sandy Hook is unfair,” said Congressman Pallone. “While, I’m relieved that the National Park Service didn’t double the rates as they originally suggested, the new fees are excessive and will make it unaffordable for many families to enjoy Sandy Hook this summer.”
At Congressman Pallone’s request, the National Park Service held a public hearing at Sandy Hook where New Jerseyans voiced their opposition to the proposed increases. Congressman Pallone followed the hearing with a letter to National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis noting that other regional parks charge significantly lower fees. “Sandy Hook is one of our area’s true natural treasures and New Jersey families deserve the opportunity to be able to visit the beach for an affordable price,” said Congressman Pallone. “While I’m relieved that the National Park Service didn’t double the rates as they originally suggested, the new fees will make it less likely that many can enjoy Sandy Hook this summer.”
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