• Miles of uncrowded white sandy beaches extend to the horizon, separating the clear blue ocean and undulating grass-covered dunes.

    Fire Island

    National Seashore New York

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • Pet Restrictions in Effect March 15 through Labor Day

    Dogs/other pets (except for service animals) are not allowed in the wilderness or on any of Fire Island's federally owned oceanfront beaches from March 15 through Labor Day to help protect threatened and endangered beach-nesting shorebirds. More »

  • Backcountry Camping Permit and Access Procedures

    Reservations for required permits must be obtained through www.recreation.gov. Due to the breach at Old Inlet, access to both east and west wilderness camping zones must now be from Watch Hill or points west, and involve a 1½ to 8 mile hike. More »

  • Attention Watch Hill Ferry Passengers

    Due to channel conditions, delay or cancellation of ferry service between Patchogue and Watch Hill may occur. For updated ferry schedule information, please call 631-475-1665.

Beaches

Sand ripples are a common sight on Fire Island's dynamic shoreline
 

Sandy Shoreline
Fire Island's beaches are composed mainly of white quartz sand of varying grain size. Occasional layers of heavy mineral sands-which include grains of garnet and magnetite-appear as colored bands among the predominantly white sediment. There are also small amounts of feldspar, tourmaline, mica, and other minerals. Occasionally, you will find pebbles or fragments of shell on the beach.

 

Dynamic Beaches
The size and shape of the beach is always changing. While sediment is constantly being moved more or less perpendicular to or from the shoreline by tidal and wave action, the predominant net movement of sediment is along Fire Island's coast, parallel to the shore through the effects of longshore currents. The movement of sediment along the shoreline is called longshore sediment transport.

 

Did You Know?

Close-up view of pinkish sundew plants, bright green mosses, and spike-like leaves of other plants.

Tiny insectivorous plants called sundews (Drosera rotundifolia and D. intermedia) may be found in the low moist swales between dunes in the Fire Island wilderness area. Sundew gets its name from the glistening sticky substance on its leaves that traps ants and other small insects. More...