• 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

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  • 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 »

Shoreline Dynamics

A snapshot in time: the shoreline is constantly changing.
A snapshot in time: the shoreline is constantly changing.

Barrier islands are constantly on the move. Wind and water carry sand to and from our ocean and bay beaches, shifting the shoreline on a daily basis. Science helps us better understand the movement of sand along our dynamic shores, and is central to our goal of protecting Fire Island National Seashore for future generations.



The Science of Shifting Sands

Together with Rutgers University and New Jersey Institute of Technology, the National Park Service is conducting a demonstration project at Sailors Haven on Fire Island. In November, 2011 a feeder beach was constructed by placing sand dredged from the Sailors Haven marina channel on the west side of the marina. The feeder beach was designed to supply sediment to the natural sediment transport processes.

Scientists are evaluating its effectiveness in supplying sand to longshore transport in the Great South Bay, and are monitoring the ecological effects. Sand from the constructed feeder beach is moving west along the bay shoreline and accumulating downdrift of the feeder beach. The results of this demonstration project will help determine whether this is an appropriate restoration technique at Sailors Haven and potentially other segments along the bay shore of Fire Island.

Take an in-depth look at the science behind the shoreline demonstration project.

Click here for a one page printout on the project.

Scientists monitor nekton at the demonstration project site.
Park staff monitor nekton at the demonstration project site.

Did You Know?

People on ferry look over Watch Hill Marina.

At least 2.2 million people spend time within the boundaries of Fire Island National Seashore every year. Almost 800,000 people annually visit park facilities. July and August are the busiest months. Sunny weekends are the busiest days. More...