Photo credit: NYC Parks / Malcolm Pinckney
NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver announced that the City’s eight public beaches will open for swimming on Saturday, May 29, and remain open through Sunday, September 12, 2021. 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. Face coverings will continue to be required in all Parks comfort stations and social distancing precautions should still be followed.
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 Beach on Staten Island.
Coney Island is ready to welcome back beachgoers and revelers alike! After an 18-month closure due to COVID-19, 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 is 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.
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, silent disco, beach volleyball, and a drive-in movie. In addition to beachside activities, the project to restore the historic, landmarked Orchard Beach Pavilion is moving forward. The $75 million project, 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.
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 and its boardwalk has become known for its varied concessions which sell food and drinks from around the world 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 provide stabilization for 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 who are looking to do more than soak up sun at South and Midland beaches will have access to bike rentals with extended weekend hours. There will be a variety of bikes available for rent, including cruisers, tandem bikes and specialty Surrey bikes that seat up to six people.
This summer NYC Parks will once again install sunscreen dispensers to provide free SPF 30 sun protection at all of its 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 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 on social media platforms.
The Health Department is responsible for beach safety surveillance and water quality monitoring for all public and private beaches. To achieve this, the agency regularly tests the water quality and closely monitors rainfall amounts to make sure beach water is safe for swimming. When water is polluted from excessive rain runoff, sewage or other pollution, it can pose health risks to swimmers and beachgoers. Public and private beaches will post easy-to-read water quality advisory and closure signs to ensure that all beachgoers are aware of any health or safety risks.
The Health Department reminds beachgoers to sign up for “Know Before You Go,” a free text service in English and Spanish that informs 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.