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Mayor de Blasio Kicks Off Beach Season at Coney Island, Celebrates Designation of Boardwalk as Scenic Landmark

May 25, 2018

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio and Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver today officially opened Coney Island Beach to the public for its summer season and celebrated the designation of the Coney Island Boardwalk as a scenic landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The City’s eight public beaches open for the season on Saturday, May 26, and remain open through Sunday, September 9.

"Beach season is officially here, and there’s no better way to kick it off than by celebrating our historic Coney Island Boardwalk’s new landmarked status and 95th birthday,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Coney Island and our other beautiful public beaches are open for the summer starting this weekend.”

On May 15, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) designated the Coney Island (Riegelmann) Boardwalk a Scenic Landmark in recognition of its cultural and historical significance. Since opening 95 years ago this month, the Coney Island Boardwalk has been one of the best-known waterfront promenades in the world, providing access to the beach, amusements, and spectacular ocean views. Scenic landmark designation will protect the boardwalk’s presence along the beachfront and preserve this iconic site for future generations.

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 Park Beach on Staten Island. The beaches will open for the season on Saturday, May 27, and remain open through Labor Day Weekend.  Lifeguards will be on duty daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; swimming is prohibited at all other times.

Queens
Rockaway Beach will offer 4.5 miles of swimming and recreation this summer, as well as free fitness and cultural programming. Earlier this week, NYC Parks has announced that the beach will be closed to swimming this summer in the area between Beach 91st Street and Beach 102nd Street in order to maintain the protective dune and keep swimmers safe. The full boardwalk and the surfing area from Beach 88th Street to Beach 91st Street will remain open. A section of the beach in front of the concessions and bathrooms at 97th will be open for recreation, but there will be no access to the water. NYC Parks will post wayfinding signage at subway stops, ferry landings, and along the boardwalk directing beachgoers to the nearest accessible beach.

Brooklyn
The Coney Island Boardwalk is turning 95, so in addition to being named a scenic landmark this month, that also means tons of summertime fun at Coney Island Beach. Special beach activities include weekly movie nights and Friday night fireworks, the 36th Annual Mermaid Parade on June 16, the opening of the next phase of the New York Aquarium, and much more.

Staten Island
Staten Island is home to four of New York City’s public beaches. This year, South Beach will be unveiling a newly reconstructed ADA accessible ramp at Sand Lane to ensure all beach goers have access to the boardwalk and beach. One of the original ramps was destroyed in Super Storm Sandy. Additionally, visitors seeking more than sand and surf 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.

The Bronx
Orchard Beach, the Bronx's sole public beach, was proclaimed "The Riviera of New York" when it was created in the 1930s. This year, Orchard Beach will host its first-ever drive-in movie on August 24 as well as a beach screening of “Coco” on July 13. On June 28, the Bronx Salutes America Fireworks will kick off summer vacation with a bang, and starting July 8, Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will host the Orchard Beach Summer Concert Series on Sunday afternoons. Other events coming to Orchard Beach this year include Rock ‘N Rollerblades (July 21) and a Silent Disco Dance Party (August 18). To enhance this beloved waterfront, the City has committed $60 million to restore the historic Orchard Beach Pavilion, opening up the interior of the building to create an accessible passageway and more room for programming and concession space. Design will begin later this year.

The Health Department also offers a texting service in English and Spanish where people can get real-time alerts on beach water quality advisories and closures for the eight public beaches in New York City. People can simply text BEACH or PLAYA to 877-877 to find out if one or all of the City’s public beaches are safe for swimming. With over 15 miles of public and private beaches accessible to New Yorkers, this texting service will help ensure that everyone’s trip to the beach is a safe and healthy one.

This summer NYC Parks will once again install sunscreen dispensers to provide free SPF 30 sun protection at all of our beaches. Dispensers will be located in or near all beach restrooms.  This important health and safety measure is being provided to the City for the second year in a row at no cost by Bright Guard in partnership with IMPACT Melanoma.

NYC Parks outdoor pools will open on June 27. Parks will once again host free Learn to Swim lessons this summer for tots, children and adults, at public pools throughout the five boroughs.  For additional information on the Learn to Swim program, as well as a list of all beach happenings this summer, please visit www.nyc.gov/parks or call 311.

"Beach season is officially here and I can't think of a better way to begin than at New York City's newest landmark, the Coney Island Boardwalk! I am confident this will be another successful year for our small businesses at one of the City's premier destinations,” said State Senator Diane Savino.

“The Coney Island Beach is an iconic part of our city and a treasure that has been loved by many generations of New Yorkers,” said Assembly Member Steven Cymbrowitz. “I’m pleased to join in opening the new beach season and welcoming residents and visitors alike to experience all that our great southern Brooklyn communities of Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Sheepshead Bay and Manhattan Beach have to offer.”

“The city’s public beaches provide a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the summer right here in New York City,” said Council Member Barry S. Grodenchik, Chair of the Committee on Parks and Recreation.

"As we welcome the start of another incredible summer of Coney Island fun and sun, it is only fitting that we recognize the landmarking of the Coney Island Riegelmann Boardwalk, the gateway to our beautiful beach. The Boardwalk is a living, breathing embodiment of the American democratic spirit, representing nearly a century of southern Brooklyn's culture, history and tradition. I thank Mayor de Blasio for following through on his commitment to landmark this beloved New York icon,” said Council Member Mark Treyger.

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