The National Parks Service has released a statement and confirmed with FireIsland.com that the few remaining New York nude beaches on Fire Island will no longer be a clothing optional atmosphere.
“Effective immediately, state nudity laws will be enforced at Fire Island National Seashore”
New York State prohibited public nudity in 1984, but the federally operated parks department on Fire Island opted not to enforce those laws. However, this has now changed and violation of this law, a class B federal misdemeanor, may result in a fine as high as $5,000 and six months in Jail a very hefty price to pay to let it all hang out.
The beaches that this affects are:
- Lighthouse beach, from the western boundary of the park to the western boundary of Kismet.
- The Sailors Haven tract, from Point O’ Woods to Cherry Grove.
- One half mile on either side of the Barrett Beach lifeguard stand.
- One mile on either side of the Watch Hill lifeguard stand.
- From the Wilderness Visitor Center to the breach at Old Inlet
Why the sudden change in policy?
This news comes at a time when Fire Island is recovering from one of the worst storms in its history. According to the parks department the effects of Hurricane Sandy did play a role in this decision, however they are clear to state the decision is based on a number of factors, including:
- Conflicts of use.
- Public safety hazard due to the lack of adequate facilities for trash and human waste.
- Lack of Dune protection: Hurricane Sandy leveled the dunes in this area, which increases the visibility of the beach from other public use areas.
- New Habitat: The Hurricane sandy over wash areas left by the storm created added habitat for sensitive species in the area.
- Increase in criminal activity in the designated clothing-optional areas.