For decades, Jersey Shore Towns have been requiring beach visitors to pay for a beach badge to enjoy a Summer day in the sand. The first New Jersey Beach Tag was issued back in 1929 by Bradley Beach in Monmouth County but should the future of Beach Access become digital?

Since the 1970s, towns such as Stone Harbor, Margate, Sea Isle City, Ventnor, and Avalon have required beach visitors to purchase Beach tags.  Many Vacationers have kept these Beach Badges over the years as mementos of their Summers in South Jersey. The novelty of physical Beach Badges is not going away any time soon, but some Shore Towns will be offering a digital option for the 2024 Summer Season.

At the most recent City Council meeting, Sea Isle City voted to offer Digital Beach Tags for the 2024 Summer season with the My Beach Mobile App. Through the app, beachgoers can purchase Daily and Weekly Passes for the Sea Isle City throughout the Summer Season when it may be inconvenient to some people's schedules to go purchase physical Beach Badges.

Photo from Google Maps
Photo from Google Maps
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I spoke with Sea Isle City Chief Financial Officer Jen McIver who explained that this Digital Beach Pass offers locals and vacationers a new option for their next Beach Day:

"We are using the new technology to our benefit and the benefit of our beachgoers. (Sea Isle City) Beachgoers who enter the beach without a tag or money to purchase a tag will now have the option to purchase a daily or weekly tag right there from their smartphone, instead of having to leave the beach."

According to the My Beach Mobile website, there are five New Jersey Shore Towns where users can obtain digital beach passes through their service:

*Long Beach Township
*Margate
*Sea Isle City
*Harvey Cedars
*Ship Bottom

While these Digital Beach Tags are not replacing the traditional physical badges, the My Beach Mobile App offers a new level of convenience and makes sense as the world we live in becomes more paperless.

Photo by Rahul Chakraborty on Unsplash
Photo by Rahul Chakraborty on Unsplash
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Similar to when you go to a sporting event, everything on an app or sent to your email instead of receiving paper tickets or passes. As long as you have your phone, you can't lose it and your tickets don't need to be replaced. These digital beach passes give people the same level of convenience in a world dominated by technology and convenience:

"This is an additional option for people who want the convenience of having the daily or weekly tag on their phone" Jen McIver explained to Townsquare Media. "The tag cannot be lost this way. If you have your phone to show the beach tag employee, you will be able to enter the beach."

So why doesn't every New Jersey Coastal Community offer this Digital Beach Pass option?  Many of the thousands of vacationers who visit the Jersey Shore Towns each Summer have disposable income so purchasing these Beach Badges on an app wouldn't be cost-prohibitive and less money out of their pocket compared to parking in South Jersey.

Photo by William Hook on Unsplash
Photo by William Hook on Unsplash
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Considering that Americans average 8.38 Hours per Day consuming Digital Media and a large portion of that is done on their smartphones, utilizing an app for a Virtual Beach Tag should not be a difficult idea for people to utilize.  Like Sea Isle City, you can keep selling the Physical Beach Tags every year but also give visitors to the New Jersey Shore Towns the option to have a virtual beach pass too.

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