• 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 »

Park Statistics

Aerial view of Fire Island.

Within Fire Island National Seashore's park boundaries there are almost 15,000 acres of open water, 26 bay islands, approximately 101 miles of coastline (including 72 of Fire Island's 84 miles of Atlantic Ocean and bay shorelines), and 1,380 acres of wilderness.

Acreage
The boundary of Fire Island National Seashore extends approximately 4,000 feet into the bay, and approximately 1,000 feet seaward of the ocean shoreline. The park includes several islands, sand flats and wetlands landward of the of the barrier island.

Within its boundaries, Fire Island National Seashore encompasses 19,580.29 acres of marine and terrestrial property.

  • 14,663.9 acres Aquatic or Submerged Lands
    • 20% Atlantic Ocean (including 26 miles of Atlantic Ocean coastline)
    • 80% Great South Bay (75 miles of bay-side shoreline, including 26 bay islands)
  • 5,863.5 acres Upland or Terrestrial Lands
    • On Fire Island
      • 40% wetlands (salt marsh, freshwater marsh)
      • 25% open (beach, swale, fields)
      • 25% developed (by either the National Park Service or the 17 local communities on Fire Island)
      • 10% forested (includes the Sunken Forest and other areas)
    • At William Floyd Estate
      • 65% forested
      • 25% wetlands
      • 5% open space
      • 5% developed

Federal (6,241.95 acres) :

  • 3,090.44 acres owned by the National Park Service (NPS Fee Acres)
    • including 1,380 acres of federally-designated Fire Island Wilderness
    • developed facilities at Watch Hill, Barrett Beach/Talisman, Sailors Haven, the Fire Island Lighthouse
    • Sunken Forest Preserve on Fire Island, NY
    • other undeveloped bay-to-ocean parcels on Fire Island
    • 617.79-acre William Floyd Estate in Mastic Beach, NY
    • 11-acre park headquarters and maintenance facilities in Patchogue, NY
  • 3,151.51 acres (NPS or Other Federal Less Than Fee Acres)
    (This includes an easement over the waters of the Atlantic Ocean from mean high water [MHW] to 1,000 feet offshore.)

Non-Federal (13,338.34 acres):

  • 12,422.73 acres of Other Public Lands
    • Smith Point County Park (approx. 1,030 acres)
    • Village of Bellport Beach (approx. 16.4 acres)
    • Atlantique Beach (Town of Islip)
    • Leja Beach/Davis Park (Town of Brookhaven)
    • Publicly-owned bay bottom and bay islands
  • 915.61 acres of privately owned lands within the designated boundary of Fire Island National Seashore, including homes and businesses within the 17 Fire Island communities

Designations
Fire Island National Seashore - September 11, 1964 (Public Law 88-587)

See Legislative History in Park Planning: Management Documents.

 

Visitation Statistics
The busiest months at Fire Island National Seashore are July and August, and the busiest days are on the weekends.

In 2004, Fire Island National Seashore recorded its peak visitation figure of 975,236.

  • 819,161 recreational visits
  • 156,075 non-recreational visits
These figures are for visitation to park-owned sites only, and do not reflect the actual number of people spending time within the boundaries of Fire Island National Seashore.

It is estimated that more than 2.2 million people annually come to Fire Island, either into one of the 17 Fire Island communities, on waters surrounding the island, or to one of the national seashore facilities.

The National Park Service Public Use Statistics website includes detailed visitation data for Fire Island from 1967 to the present, as well as statistics for other National Park Service areas.

The National Park Service Social Science Division produces a number of reports and publications, including its Money Generation Model (MGM) Reports, which summarize the economic benefits to local communities from national park visitation and payroll.

The NPS Social Science Program also oversees an annual Visitor Survey Card Project, conducted by the University of Idaho, Park Studies Unit (UI PSU) at many NPS areas, including Fire Island National Seashore.

 

Staffing & Budget
Fire Island National Seashore employs almost 40 permanent staff. As many as 60 additional seasonal and intern positions are usually filled during the summer.

The park's base funded budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 was $4,906,000, and in FY2012 was $4,840,500.

 
Cover of 2004 Business Plan for Fire Island National Seashore.

For More Information

A comprehensive analysis of park visitation, staffing and budget was prepared in 2005.

For a more detailed break-down of visitation numbers by park:

Did You Know?

View from the top of Fire Island Lighthouse, looking west over the narrow island to the inlet in the distance.

The first Fire Island Lighthouse was built in 1826 on the western end of the island. Today, Fire Island Inlet is more than 5 miles west of this foundation. More...