Boaters are no longer able to launch their vessels from trailers at the Glenwood Place boat ramp, a move that has angered one township councilman.
The mud ramp at the relatively secluded end of Glenwood Place – a street off Mantoloking Road – has served as a free launching place into the Metedeconk River for decades, but is now blocked off by a guardrail.
Closing the ramp was an "asinine" and "ludicrous" thing for the township's administration to do, Councilman Dan Toth said this week.
"To take away a public access point is a slap in the face to the taxpayers and the residents of this town because we are such a waterfront community," said Toth, adding that members of his family own a good deal of the property around the ramp and have never been bothered by people using it.
Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis said the closure came after multiple complaints from neighboring residents and marina owners, who told township officials that boaters were urinating and defecating in the grass adjacent to the ramp and ignoring a No Wake zone from the ramp to the main channel of the Metedeconk to the east.
"Nobody living across from that boat ramp should have to see people squatting to go to the bathroom," said Acropolis, adding that there were also complaints about garbage being dumped near the ramp as well as people "coming in and out at all hours."
"The town just doesn't go out and do things for no reason," he said. "Nobody went by there one day and said, 'hey let's close this boat ramp.' But you cannot legislate good behavior."
Toth said he also took issue with a sign being erected at the site directing boaters to use the ramp at Traders Cove Marina, which carries a fee for users.
"People are hurting, and we're taking away public access points for them to enjoy the water," he said.
The daily ramp fee at Traders Cove is $10 for a "round trip" pass, which entitles a boater to launch and retrieve a boat. A season ramp pass is available for $100.
For boaters looking for no-cost alternatives, a free ramp is available off Beach Boulevard in Point Pleasant Borough, just south of the New Jersey State Police barracks near the Lovelandtown Bridge. Boats there are launched into the Point Pleasant Canal.
There is also a free, sand-covered launch area at the end of Bay Avenue in Point Boro, where boats can be launched into Barnegat Bay, though parking there is limited.