Sportsman's ORV driving limitations
Due to the breach at Old Inlet, the sportsman's driving area is reduced to approximately 1¼ miles of the beach west of the Wilderness Visitor Center. Required permits may be purchased at this visitor center when staffed, for use through 12/31/2013. More »
New Backcountry Camping procedures
Reservations for required permits must be obtained through Recreation.gov. Due to the breach at Old Inlet, access to both east and west wilderness camping zones must now be from Davis Park or access points west, and involve a 2½ to 10 mile hike. More »
Coasts / Shorelines
Fire Island is a barrier island, which is believed to have developed as a spit of sediment formed from an eroding headland after the end of the last ice age. Its sand comes from two sources: the eroding cliffs and bluffs of Montauk to its east, and from offshore sources which were deposited by retreating glaciers and remain from earlier inlet deltas.
Fire Island's coastline is constantly being shaped and re-shaped by wind and water. Littoral drift, offshore bottom currents, wind, inlet formation, tidal delta growth, and occasional overwash are all essential to maintain a dynamic equilibrium on a barrier island.
This recent publication provides valuable background information to help you better understand the resources and natural processes of Fire Island National Seashore.
NPS Natural Resource Program Center
For More Information
You can learn more about coastal processes at the NPS "Views of the National Parks" web site:
Global climate change is one of the critical natural resource issues that concerns the National Park Service. At Fire Island National Seashore, the major repercussion of changing temperatures lies in sea-level rise. The National Park Service and the United States Geological Survey are currently developing Coastal Vulnerability Index (CVI) maps for coastal parks to identify coastal areas sensitive to sea-level rise.
A series of Science Synthesis Papers was published in 2005 to support the preparation of a General Management Plan for Fire Island National Seashore.
Did You Know?
Whales and other marine mammals live in the ocean south of Fire Island. Occasionally, they are can be spotted from shore, and rarely a dead whale will wash ashore. More...