NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, announces that the City’s public beaches are open for the season and will remain open through Labor Day Weekend. Lifeguards will be on duty daily, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and swimming is strictly prohibited at all other times. This summer, NYC Parks is launching a public service campaign to encourage all New Yorkers to be WaterSafe at the city’s pools, beaches, and waterfront parks.
City beaches span a total of 14 miles and include Orchard Beach in the Bronx; Coney Island and Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn; Rockaway Beach in Queens; and Midland Beach, South Beach, Cedar Grove Beach, and Wolfe's Pond Park Beach on Staten Island.
This summer we encourage all New Yorkers to be WaterSafe by following these Top 10 Water Safety Tips:
1. Only swim where lifeguards are present and follow their directions
2. Learn to swim
3. Never leave children unattended
4. Obey all posted signs and flags
5. Watch for dangerous waves and rip currents
6. Stay alert and aware of your surroundings
7. Wear a life jacket when boating
8. Don’t take unnecessary risks
9. Be safe in the sun
10. Know before you go
The Health Department also offers a texting service where people can get real-time opening, closing and water quality information for the eight public beaches in New York City. People can simply text BEACH to 877-877 to find out if one or all of the City’s public beaches are safe for swimming. With over 15 miles of public and private beaches accessible to New Yorkers, this texting service will help ensure that everyone’s trip to the beach is a safe and healthy one.
Since its July 1936 debut, Orchard Beach has offered a little bit of everything in a beautiful waterfront setting, hence its nickname, the “Riviera of New York City.” This small, mile-long beachfront of the Long Island Sound, is an idyllic setting with lots to offer. Orchard Beach has nearby games areas for tennis, volleyball, basketball and handball as well as shady picnic groves, two playgrounds, a nature center, and nearby bike paths and nature trails. Summer programming will include several summer concerts, Urban Park Ranger nature walks, and on weekends, the Hoops In the Sun basketball tournament. This year, Havana Cafe will be back, offering interesting culinary fare at each of Orchard Beach’s three snack bars and at the pushcarts along the promenade. The Bronx-based business will feature their unique Cuban flare plus other savory options, healthy foods, and traditional beach favorites like hot dogs, burgers, and fries. Orchard beach also has three beach wheelchairs available on site for public use.
Coney Island is celebrating a banner year with the 95th Anniversary of Deno’s Wonderwheel and kiddie park, and a major renovation at the New York Aquarium’s shark exhibit building. Flicks on the Beach will run on Monday nights beginning in July, and karaoke talent shows and theme days will take place on the boardwalk weekly. Presented by the Alliance for Coney Island, the first Friday night fireworks show of the 2015 season will be on June 19, the eve of both the first day of summer and the Mermaid Parade. This free weekly event continues on Fridays through September 4. Fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m. and are shot off from the beach. Best viewing locations are on the Boardwalk from West 10th to West 12th Streets or from the Wonder Wheel. Another popular viewing spot is Steeplechase Pier.
NYC Parks is currently rebuilding a better Coney Island Boardwalk at Brighton Beach that's safer, stronger, and more environmentally sound than ever. Built to last and better protect the community for generations, the new boardwalk, between Coney Island Avenue and Brighton 15th Street, will maintain the look and feel of a traditional boardwalk while helping our city serve a responsible role in reducing deforestation—an important factor in global climate change. Construction on the boardwalk between Coney Island Avenue and Brighton 15th Street began in November 2014 and is expected to be completed in time for the 2016 beach season. During construction, temporary paths will provide public access.
This Memorial Day, the City will be opening up the first section of new construction on the Rockaway Boardwalk, from Beach 86th Street to Beach 97th Street. By July 4, 2015 we expect to open the second phase, Beach 97th to Beach 107th. New York City’s waterfront is our first line of defense against the effects of climate change, and the new boardwalk will set a global standard for resilient shoreline design, while providing the Rockaway community with beautiful, functional beachfront. Beach-goers be able to enjoy the same lobster rolls, burgers and arepas that Rockaway has become famous for. Parks will also be hosting free Shape Up NYC fitness classes on the beach and family friendly events including movie nights, puppet shows, and a Honey Festival.
Visitors to South Beach on Staten Island this year can go check out the Fantasy Shore Amusement Park which is now in its second year. A new Ocean Breeze Summer Fitness Series on South Beach will also be offered all summer long. Classes will be hosted at the South Beach Splaza, located at the corner of Seaview Avenue and Father Capodanno Boulevard. For a schedule visit our Ocean Breeze Festival page. This is the first summer since Hurricane Sandy that kids will be able to once again enjoy the Midland Beach Basketball Courts and Playground, thanks to a renovation project made possible by the NBA last fall. And the Borough President’s “Back to the Beach Festival” and “Summer Sunset Concert Series” will both return this summer.
NYC Parks will once again host free Learn to Swim lessons this summer for tots, children and adults, at public pools throughout the five boroughs. For additional information on the Learn to Swim program, as well as a list of all beach happenings this summer, please visit www.nyc.gov/parks or call 311.