NYC Parks reminds all beach-goers to be safe in and around the water this summer, and only swim when lifeguards are on duty

Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP today 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.

“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!”

“The summer heat has arrived, and with the return of swimming at our beaches, comes another step in our collective return to normalcy. It is with great pleasure that I say to all New Yorkers: grab your sunglasses, sunscreen, and swim gear — beach season is here!” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “We want everyone to enjoy our eight public beaches this season, but it must be done safely – swimming is only allowed in designated areas, from 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. when lifeguards are on duty.”

“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!”

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.

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, 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
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.

“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 will be very different from most but this year we will be able to enjoy the warm weather a lot more and a lot safer. I look forward to visiting the Rockaway beaches this summer with social distancing guidelines. We’re still not out of the clear yet. I encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated so we can continue to celebrate the summer safely,” said Congressman Gregory W. Meeks.
“Summer in New York City is back as we all know it! Reopening our city’s beaches is the excellent news we needed after the tumultuous year we’ve had. Here in Queens, we are proud of our famous Rockaway Beach. I welcome all New Yorkers and visitors to take a safe beach and enjoy,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr.

“I am thrilled about the reopening of eight beaches across our city, including the Orchard Beach in the Bronx. People are ready to get out of their homes as we approach the ‘Summer of New York City.’ At the same time, it is still critically important to continue following social distancing rules and face-covering requirements in public spaces to ensure that we all have a safe and fun summer,” said Senator Luis Sepúlveda.

“Nothing marks the unofficial start of summer in New York City like the opening of our incredible beaches,” said Assembly Member Pheffer Amato. “I am so proud to represent all of our beach and boardwalk from Breezy Point to Beach 9th Street, and seeing it back at full capacity marks another significant milestone in our return to pre pandemic life. While today is significant – we all know there are significant dangers to swimming in our waters without a lifeguard. So while you enjoy our beautiful beaches, please do so under the proper supervision of a lifeguard during their working hours of 10am to 6pm. See you on the boardwalk!”

“As we welcome the warmer weather and the summer season ahead, it gives me great hope to see that New York City public beaches will officially reopen this Memorial Day weekend. I urge everyone planning a beach trip in the weeks ahead to adhere to current COVID-19 health and safety protocols and practice swim safety. Remember to enter the water only while lifeguards are on duty between 10 AM-6 PM and to swim in the designated areas,” said Assembly Member Khaleel Anderson.

“As we come to the end of the Covid-19 pandemic, I along with countless other New Yorkers are excited to see beaches open on time and at full capacity,” said Assembly Member Robert Carroll. “This weekend our beaches will reopen, and the unofficial start of summer will begin. City beaches are safe and a great way to beat the summer heat. I am certain that the summer of 2021 will be one to remember.”

“There’s a special reason to celebrate the opening of our beaches this year. It means that our community and our city are returning to our normal routine — the way life used to be, when summer meant swimming in the ocean and spending time on the beach with loved ones and friends,” said Assembly Member Steven Cymbrowitz. “Let’s enjoy the summer and continue to follow the appropriate guidelines so that we all stay healthy and safe.”

“After the last year of uncertainty, I look forward to the return of the familiar sights and sounds of Coney Island beach in the summertime,” said Assembly Member Mathylde Frontus. “We are excited to welcome New Yorkers again for a fun, safe summer out here on the Coney Island beach and boardwalk.”

“After a tumultuous past 14 months, the people of Queens deserve some much-needed sun and recreation at Rockaway Beach. Rebuilt following Superstorm Sandy, the Rockaway Boardwalk is a monument to New York resilience. The next chapter of our resilience comes this year, when we return to a beach mere steps from where ambulances were once lined up carrying COVID patients to St. John’s Hospital,” said Assembly Member Jenifer Rajkumar.

“Brooklyn is home to some of the world’s greatest metropolitan beaches, and I’m overjoyed that we’ll be able to enjoy summer by the shore again. Ice cream! Rides! Swimming (only in designated areas during lifeguard hours, please)! Sunscreen! Baseball! And so much more! Have fun and stay safe, New Yorkers,” said Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon.

“I fully support the opening of NYC’s public beaches. This is another great step for getting our city back to normal. Public beaches are a fun place for New Yorkers and tourist alike, and they’re good for our economy. Small businesses benefit from our beaches being open,” said Assembly Member David Weprin. 

“The pandemic proved how much of a gem our public beaches really are,” said Council Member Selvena N. Brooks-Powers. “The long awaited summer has finally arrived and our beaches — especially in Rockaway Beach — are now open and awaiting the many families looking to enjoy the good weather. Be sure to continue to remain safe and adhere to the beach rules.” 

“Rockaway Beach is truly a jewel in the crown that is New York City.  From the surfing beaches to the wonderful concessions and small businesses, to the amazing boardwalk – it’s truly an ideal place,” said Council Member Eric Ulrich.  “I look forward to spending many afternoons there this summer as we begin to reopen our great city!”