Coney Island in Brooklyn | Photo by NYC Parks / Malcolm Pinckney
NEW YORK – After an 18-month closure and with Memorial Day considered the unofficial start of summer, New York City’s eight public beaches are open for swimming this Saturday, May 29, and remain open through Sunday, Sept. 12 2021, the Mayor’s Office has announced.
Lifeguards will be on duty daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; swimming is unsafe and strictly prohibited at all other times. Beach capacity will not be limited for the upcoming season. However, face coverings will continue to be required in all Parks comfort stations, and all should observe social distancing precautions.
“This summer will be the Summer of New York City and that’s not complete without a trip to one of our beautiful beaches,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “To all New Yorkers: have fun and stay safe!”
“This Memorial Day weekend is a chance for all of us to breathe a sigh of relief because of the great progress New Yorkers have made in the fight against COVID-19, but vaccination remains our best tool to keep transmission low,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi. “It’s never been easier to get vaccinated, and this weekend, you can get some summer sun AND a vaccine at the beach. Get vaccinated to protect your family, friends and city!”
At the same time, NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J.Silver, FAICP, also welcomed the beach season and the “collective return to normalcy.” “We want everyone to enjoy our eight public beaches this season, but it must be done safely.”
Last year, at the height of the pandemic, access to city beaches were not allowed.
“The opening day for city beaches is always a great day, especially this year after so many were cooped up indoors all winter long. I’m wishing everyone a happy, healthy and safe summer and, remember, be sure to keep our beaches clean by properly disposing litter and cleaning after your dogs!” said Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis.
This summer, NYC Parks will once again install sunscreen dispensers to provide free SPF 30 sun protection at all beaches, with dispensers located in or near all beach restrooms.
As part of Parks’ 2021 water safety campaign, ads have been placed across the city reminding patrons of the importance of swimming only in designated areas during lifeguard hours. Designed by Parks, the campaign targets teens, and parents and can now be heard on the radio in English and Spanish and seen on bus shelters, taxi tv, link NYC, Parks beaches across the city, and social media platforms.
The Health Department reminds beachgoers to sign up for “Know Before You Go,” a free text service in English and Spanish informing New Yorkers if public beaches are open or closed due to water quality issues. New Yorkers can text “BEACH” or “PLAYA” to 877877 to get the status of any of the City’s eight public beaches. Beachgoers can also receive text alerts on weather conditions or warnings. The Health Department also released an updated Beach Water Quality portal where New Yorkers can look up the latest water quality reports for their local beach.
NYC Parks outdoor pools will open on Saturday, June 26, 2021.
City beaches span 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 Beach in Staten Island.
In Brooklyn, Coney Island is ready to welcome back beachgoers and revelers alike! Its world-famous eateries and attractions, including Luna Park, Deno’s Wonderwheel Amusement Park, and Nathan’s Famous hot dogs, are back and ready for summer! There are tons to do, including the launch of the new PHOENIX Family Thrill Roller Coaster at Deno’s Wonder Wheel and the return of the firework displays every Friday throughout the summer at 9:30 p.m. When visitors are not strolling the boardwalk, soaking in the sun, or wading in the water, they can enjoy new exciting amenities like the brand-new pump track skate park at Steeplechase Plaza.
In the Bronx, Orchard Beach, the Bronx’s sole public beach, was proclaimed “The Riviera of New York City” when it was created in the 1930s. Today, it remains a family-friendly destination for summer fun and will be welcoming visitors for swimming beginning May 29! This year, the Orchard Beach Nature Center will be open every day, and Parks will be hosting a series of fun, family-friendly events, including movie nights, a silent disco, beach volleyball, and a drive-in movie. In addition to beachside activities, the project to restore the historic landmarked Orchard Beach Pavilion moves forward. The $75 million projects, a joint renovation project with Parks & EDC, will completely restore the pavilion to its former glory, and construction is anticipated to begin in summer 2022.
In Queens, Rockaway Beach, one of New York City’s finest beach towns, welcomes visitors back to a replenished beach for a summer of coastal fun. Rockaway Beach is home to the city’s only designated surfing areas. Its boardwalk has become known for its varied concessions, which sell food and drinks worldwide, including Peruvian, Bolivian, Caribbean, and Central Asian fare. This year visitors can also indulge in new eateries along the boardwalk, courtesy of new concession operator Rockaway Beach Bazaar, while enjoying free community events, fitness classes, and programming hosted by NYC Parks. And new for this year, some of the boardwalk concessions will stay open an extra hour until 11:00 p.m. As part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Atlantic Shoreline Resiliency Project, this summer will also see the continuous development and rehabilitation of stone groin structures along the shoreline. These new stone groins will stabilize a re-nourished sand beach and dune and maintain the protective beach profile.
Staten Island is home to four of New York City’s public beaches. Visitors looking to do more than soak up the sun at South and Midland beaches will have access to bike rentals with extended weekend hours. There will be various bikes available for rent, including cruisers, tandem bikes, and specialty Surrey bikes that seat up to six people. — With Jay Domingo/and Ricky Rillera/PDM