The NYC Health Department is responsible for beach surveillance and monitoring for all permitted City beaches. The program is comprised of two major areas:
Water samples are collected from NYC beaches on a routine basis for scientific analysis. If the results of the analysis reveal that the samples do not meet the criteria for the beach to be open for swimming and wading, the PHE will issue a beach advisory or closure depending on the extent of the pollution. The beach facility must post notification signs at the beach until advised by PHE to remove them - see below for examples of beach notification signs.
Do not swim in areas where there are no lifeguards or when a beach is under an advisory or closure. To find out if an NYC beach is "Open for Swimming and Wading," "Under Advisory," or "Closed" call 311, sign up for phone notifications, text Beach to 877-877, or check out our NYC Area Beach Map.
Each beach is assigned a classification, as listed below, by the NYC Health Deparment based on the evaluation and evidence of information provided by past history and existing water quality data and trends, including regional hydrodynamics, sanitary and safety surveys, known spills or pollution events, site conditions, frequency of use, beach length, and proximity to potential pollution sources and storm water discharges.
|OPEN||Open for Swimming and Wading|
All of the following conditions are considered in order for a beach to be classified as open and approved for swimming and wading:
|ADVISORY||Advisory – swimming and wading not recommended|
The Health Department declares an Advisory when swimming and wading are NOT RECOMMENDED. It does not mean that the beach is closed. Contacting water contaminated with elevated levels of bacteria may cause illnesses such as vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory illness or infections. Children, pregnant women, the elderly and the chronically ill are at higher risk. An advisory may be issued based on one or a combination of the following conditions:When preliminary water quality assessment indicate naturally occurring organisms or human influences may be causing a continuous or reoccurring water quality exceedance, when a sanitary and safety survey or investigation reveals the presence of floatable debris, medical/infectious waste or toxic contaminants, petroleum products, and/or other contamination on the beach or evidence of sewage and wastewater discharge.
Wet Weather Conditions – following a period of heavy rainfall, which could lead to sewer overflows and storm runoff from streets and other land surfaces which predictably cause elevated levels of bacteria in some beach waters. The following wet weather conditions result in Advisory declarations:
|Beach||Rainfall Limit||Advisory Duration|
|Orchard Beach, Bx||>2.5 inches||24 hours|
College, Bklyn Midland
Beach, South Beach,
Cedar Grove Beach, SI
|1.5-2.5 inches||12 hours|
|>2.5 inches||24 hours|
|Coney Island, Bklyn||>2.5 inches||12 hours|
|Gerritsen Beach, Bklyn
Whitestone Booster, Qns
|0.3-0.6 inches||18 hours|
|>0.6 inches||40 hours|
|Douglaston, Qns||0.3-0.6 inches||30 hours|
|0.6-2.5 inches||60 hours|
|>2.5 inches||72 hours|
|All Bronx Private Beaches||0.6-2.5 inches||36 hours|
|>2.5 inches||48 hours|
|CLOSED||Closed. Swimming and wading not permitted.|
City beaches may be classified as "Restricted for Swimming and Wading" when one or a combination of any of the following conditions exist: