BARNEGAT. NJ - Those heading over to Barnegat Bay Beach may notice a few things missing from the small sandy beach. Gone are the lifeguard stand and cautionary dividing ropes. Also absent are lifeguards on duty.

The Township’s decision to go without lifeguards at the Bay Beach had nothing to do with budgetary concerns. Instead, it seems no one wanted the job.

“We first asked last year’s guards to come back,” shared Committeeman Al Bille at this month’s Township Committee meeting. “All of them declined.”

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Bille explained the Township’s continued efforts to find lifeguards for both the Bay Beach and the Waretown Lake. Barnegat shares responsibility for Waretown Lake with its neighboring community.

“Our search came up with only one applicant,” said Bille. “We even tried outsourcing to Candlewood, a local company that provides lifeguards to many of the over 55 communities. They couldn’t find anyone either.’

Township authorities checked with the Joint Insurance Fund (JIF) and received the okay to proceed without lifeguards at the Bay Beach. Meanwhile, state bathing laws required removal of the ropes and stand. Signs warn that no lifeguard is on duty.

Barnegat Bay Beach – Popular Among Families

While things are missing from the Barnegat Bay Beach, there’s a notable addition. A local girl scout troop erected a box designed to combat the intrusion of attack flies. Depending on the way the wind blows, flies chase prospective bathers from the beach area.

At no cost for parking or entry onto the beach, Barnegat Bay Beach remains popular among young families. Montville resident Gina Kaufman refers to the beach as a hidden treasure. “Whenever I come down to see my parents, I love heading to the Bay Beach,” she shared. “I love that my boys can swim where they can stand.”

Stephanie A. Faughnan is a local journalist and the Director of Writefully Inspired, a professional writing service.