They have become one of the most popular additions to many people's beach-going rituals over the past few summers in South Jersey, but you won't be able to use your big beach tent or cabana this summer in North Wildwood.

North Wildwood to Prohibit Most Beach Canopies This Summer

North Wildwood is restricting the size of cabanas, tents, and canopies on its beaches this summer. In a Facebook post on Thursday, the city said that only smaller shade structures would be allowed on North Wildwood beaches.

Types of shaded structures that would be permitted under those regulations include circular umbrellas that are a maximum 8’ in diameter and 7’, 6” inches in height, and baby tents that are 36” in height, width, and length.

If you spent any time at a South Jersey beach last summer, you've seen the proliferation of large, family-sized canopies and tents often set up close to the ocean, blocking the view of people behind them.

North Wildwood Blames Lack of Beach Replenishment for Ban

This decision involves more than just the increased size of today's beach cabanas.

North Wildwood has been locked in a legal battle with the state over tens of millions of dollars it has spent trying to protect its dunes and shrinking coastline from beach erosion.

After being fined $12 million by the NJ DEP for unauthorized beach repairs that it says could worsen erosion, no beach replenishment was completed this winter in North Wildwood.

Add in this winter's storm damage and North Wildwood's beaches are in trouble.

“This is the most vulnerable we have ever been,” Mayor Patrick Rosenello told WHYY. “It doesn’t even take a storm anymore to threaten us. On most regular high tides, the water comes up and through where this dune used to be.”

The Cabana Ban May Be Temporary

North Wildwood City Council says these restrictions on beach shade gear are temporary for the 2024 season, and, if there is an increase in the amount of available beach, they will be relaxed.

Some North Wildwood beachgoers are already voicing displeasure with the ban on bigger shade structures and pointing out that two smaller tents used by the same family add up to as much or more room than one bigger cabana. Stay tuned.

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