Photo by michal dziekonski on Unsplash

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

NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue announces that the City’s eight public beaches will open for swimming on Saturday, May 27, and remain open through Sunday, September 10, 2023. Lifeguards will be on duty daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; swimming is unsafe and strictly prohibited at all other times. 

“Our city’s waterfront is a vital part of summer for New Yorkers,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. “It’s a place to cool off, kick back, and relax, and we’re committed to making sure that all of our beaches are clean, safe, attractive destinations. There’s so much to do at our beaches, from silent discos in the Bronx to new parkland and playgrounds in the Rockaways, and we’re so excited to welcome back New Yorkers and visitors for another season of fun!”  

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 offers an ideal respite from the hectic and steamy city. With nearly 3 miles of sandy beaches, Coney Island’s sunny skies and rolling waves make for the perfect summer getaway. If your idea of beach fun involves more than just soaking up the sun, Coney Island also offers plenty of recreation choices such as beach volleyball and handball, as well as playgrounds and amusement rides. Enjoy the New York Aquarium, take in a Brooklyn Cyclones baseball game, or enjoy boardwalk rides including the historic Deno’s Wonder Wheel, legendary Cyclone roller coaster or New York City’s newest coaster, the Phoenix. Coney Island’s beaches and boardwalk offer hours of entertainment for a perfect day at the shore! 

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 27! This year, Parks will be hosting a series of fun, family-friendly events including movie nights, silent disco, and a drive-in movie. With the $87.6 million renovation of the historic, landmarked Orchard Beach Pavilion underway, Parks is investing in the future of Orchard Beach as a fun, safe, and beautiful summer destination for generations of beachgoers to come.  


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 our backyard and around the world including Venezuelan, Caribbean, Peruvian, wood-fired pizza, raw bar and lobsters, and more! This year, thanks in part to FEMA 428 funding, and additional local funding, Parks will be opening $33 million in new amenities during the summing including the brand new Nameoke Park; a completely renovated Beach 59th Street Playground; a unique, passive Shorefront Labyrinth and Seating area; a picturesque performance space at Beach 95th street; and more. As part of the ongoing 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: Cedar Grove Beach, Midland Beach, South Beach, and Wolfe’s Pond Beach. At South and Midland Beaches, beachgoers can access a variety of bike rentals, including cruisers, tandem bikes, and specialty Surrey bikes that seat up to six people. Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk features lovely views of the Verrazzano Bridge, the Fountain of Dolphins, and barbecuing areas, for those looking to more than soak up sun on the sand. And, following a successful trial last summer, Wolfe’s Pond Park will continue to provide green energy units that use solar and wind power to provide lighting and USB charging stations, thanks to a $120,000 grant from TD Bank and manufactured by Aris Wind. 

Parks is excited to continue its free sunscreen program with 56 dispensers located at all eight beaches. Through the program, funded by the IMPACT Melanoma Foundation in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan, and by Episcopal Health Services in the Rockaways, New Yorkers can protect themselves from long hours in the sun by easily applying the provided SPF 30 sunscreen. The foundation will also be providing sun safety information throughout the summer at select locations. 

“Episcopal Health Services is proud to support the NYC Parks and Impact Melanoma in this important community initiative” says Jerry Walsh, CEO, Episcopal Health Services. “As the Rockaway’s only hospital, the health and wellness of our community is our number one priority. By making sunscreen available to those enjoying the boardwalk and the beach this summer, we hope to limit exposure to harmful UV rays and ultimately decrease risk of developing melanoma.” 

IMPACT Melanoma Executive Director Deb Girard said: “In 2022, IMPACT reached over 3.3 million people with Practice Safe Skin, the free community sunscreen program. Use of sunscreen along with hats, protective clothing and sunglasses is your best bet for limiting the harmful rays of the run. Did you know that almost all skin cancer/melanoma is almost totally preventable with good sun protective behavior?” 

The Health Department is responsible for beach health and safety surveillance and routine water quality monitoring for all beaches in NYC. The agency regularly tests the water quality and monitors wet weather conditions near the City’s beaches to make sure it 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. If necessary, easy-to-read water quality advisory and closure signs will be posted at beaches to ensure that all beachgoers are aware of any health or safety risks.   

  • For more information on Health Department sampling results, water quality information, and to find out if there are any advisories or closures before heading to the beach, the public can visit or call 311.    
  • Beachgoers can also 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 55676 to get the status of any of the City’s eight public beaches.  

NYC Parks outdoor pools will open on Wednesday, June 29, 2023.