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Ocean City's Controversial Curfew

Evan Berman

Staff Writer


Earlier in the year, the Ocean City Council passed ordinances that issued an 11 pm curfew for those under the age of 18, a ban on backpacks on the boardwalk after eight pm, and a closure of the beaches at 8 pm. The cause of these ordinances was the rise of large teen gatherings on the boardwalk and the beach, which locals did not appreciate as they were trying to end their day and go to sleep. While this may seem like an effective way to limit these teen gatherings and disperse them to other parts of town, it is unfair and may actually hurt Ocean City in the long run.

Phil Murphy, the Governor of New Jersey, said, "New Jersey’s shoreline and coastal communities are some of our state’s greatest treasures. By strengthening the public’s right to access our beaches, we are ensuring that all New Jersey residents and visitors can enjoy our beautiful shore this summer and for generations to come.”

He is right! The Ocean City beaches attract tourists and locals, however, if these beaches are closed at night, then they may start to travel elsewhere. Furthermore, in its peak season, Ocean City has one million visitors to enjoy the boardwalk, beaches, and atmosphere. However, when tourists are informed that they can no longer go on the beach after 8 pm, and must leave the boardwalk by 11 pm, they may not want to come back. This will ultimately hurt the many local businesses in Ocean City, because there will not be as many tourists buying items from their shops. Many of these tourists are parents who need backpacks to hold all of their children’s food and toys. If backpacks are banned after 8 pm, they would have no way to hold all of their belongings, making it very difficult for them to enjoy a night on the Ocean City Boardwalk. In addition, when today’s adults were teenagers, they hung out in roller skating rinks and parks, so shouldn’t we have a place where we get to spend time with each other and meet new people? Now, we teenagers are just going to find a new spot to hang out, so wouldn’t it be easier if we were allowed to go on the ocean city beaches, and stay on the boardwalk as late as we wanted? These curfews and bans should be taken away, in order to benefit the teenagers that go there, as well as the shops and tourists that will struggle due to these ordinances.

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