Swimming Banned at Popular River Beach

Published 06/13 2014 04:39PM

Updated 06/13 2014 06:15PM

Kittatinny Point, New Jersey – New rules could change Father’s Day weekend plans for many people in the Poconos. The National Park Service has several new regulations at Kittatinny Point in the Delaware Water Gap.


Nick Rondinella and his son spent three days canoeing and camping along the Delaware River. When they stopped at Kittatinny Point Friday, they learned about some new rules. You can no longer camp, cook, swim, or drink alcohol there. Rondinella reacted, "You'll definitely have the rule breakers which is a different element from the crowd that you want to see here."


The beach is in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area on the New Jersey side of the river. The river looks calm but it's deceptive. There have been eleven drownings at Kittatinny Point since 1971. “The river here is extremely dangerous,” remarked Park Service Spokesperson Kathleen Sandt.


Despite the danger, the spot is extremely popular. Sandt said, "It's kind of critical that we get the crowd size limited here at this site because it just cannot accommodate that number of people."


The crowds cause problems from trash to traffic. Sandt explained, "They're parking all along the access roads. They're parking all along the exit ramps and that creates a lot of safety hazards. It creates traffic congestion and impedes emergency response."


This summer, the National Park Service will be enforcing parking rules. Anyone who parks illegally will be towed. Ray Santana of New Jersey reacted, "I think that people have to be responsible and this is what happens. They start putting regulations when they don't take care of it."


The Park Service hopes the new rules will protect the place and the people who use it.


National Park visitors can still swim at lifeguarded areas along the river including Smithfield Beach, Turtle Beach, and Milford Beach. Grilling is permitted at all of those areas.

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