• 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

Fire Island National Seashore Turns 50

 
Fire Island National Seashore 50th Anniversary Logo
Fire Island National Seashore
On September 11, 1964, Congress established 26 miles of Fire Island as Fire Island National Seashore (Public Law 88-587). Today, Fire Island National Seashore encompasses marine and upland habitat, 17 residential communities, New York's only federally designated wilderness, and historic sites such as the Fire Island Lighthouse and William Floyd Estate. Visitors from near and far come to Fire Island to enjoy its beautiful bay and ocean beaches, a diversity of wildlife, and a variety of recreational opportunities.

A Year-long 50th Anniversary Celebration

You're invited to celebrate Fire Island National Seashore's 50th birthday! From September, 2014 through September, 2015, Fire Island National Seashore and park partners will host special events that reflect on the past fifty years and embrace a shared vision for protecting Fire Island into the future.

Celebrate Fire Island in Photographs
Share your Fire Island photographs and win! Enter your best Fire Island wildlife, landscape, people, and history photos in the 50th Anniversary Photo Contest and you could win a new zoom lens, courtesy of Tamron.

Or share your Fire Island memories and photos on Facebook and Twitter.

Save the Date: Labor Day Weekend 2015

In addition to the Fifty Years of Fire Island Lecture Series, 50th Anniversary Photo Contest, and public programs throughout spring and summer, special events and presentations are planned for Labor Day Weekend. This 50th anniversary finale will include tours and talks at National Park Service facilities and within Fire Island communities, highlighting the dedicated stewards, natural history, and cultural legacy of Fire Island.
 

Fifty Years of Fire Island Lecture Series: Spring and Summer 2015 Schedule

Preserving Wilderness
Thursday, April 16 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Sayville Library, 631-589-4440

Explore wilderness on Fire Island! Join Fire Island National Seashore's Biologist Jordan Raphael for a presentation on the natural and cultural history of the Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness —New York State's only federally-designated wilderness.

Keeping it Wild —Fire Island's Barrier Island Wilderness
Wednesday, April 22 7:00 pm –8:00 pm
Patchogue-Medford Library, 631-654-4700

National Park Service Wildlife Biologist Lindsay Ries discsusses the history, establishment, and dynamic barrier island ecosystem of the Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness.

Connecting Generations of Fire Islanders through Oral Histories
Thursday, May 7 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Fire Island National Seashore Patchogue-Watch Hill Ferry Terminal, 631-687-4772

Eastern Suffolk BOCES technology specialist Deborah Gerken will discuss the Woodhull Elementary School's "Student Elder Project," an educational endeavor to document Fire Island history. Each year 6th grade students at the Woodhull School on Fire Island are paired with one senior to chronicle their life using video and iMovie technology to preserve their stories for future generations to experience.

Fire Island at 50 - A Look at the National Seashore in Your Backyard
Wednesday, May 20 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY, 631-588-5024

Fire Island National Seashore was established as a unit of the National Park System on September 11, 1964. Fifty years have come and gone and Fire Island continues to be a special place for people to live, work, and play. Come take an armchair tour of the barrier island and learn more about the natural and cultural treasures that exist right in your backyard. From the Fire Island Lighthouse to the extensive salt marshes of New York's only wilderness area, Fire Island National Seashore has something for everyone.

Whither the Hard Clam in the Great South Bay?
Thursday, May 21 6:30 pm –7:30 pm
Fire Island National Seashore Patchogue-Watch Hill Ferry Terminal, 631-687-4772

In the 1970s, the Great South Bay was often referred to as a "hard clam factory" because of its tremendous abundance and production of hard clams but for the past two decades the factory has been essentially shut down. This leads to two questions: why and will it ever reopen?

The Rush for National Seashores
Thursday, June 4 6:30 pm –7:30 pm
Fire Island National Seashore Patchogue-Watch Hill Ferry Terminal, 631-687-4772

From 1952 to 1974, the National Park Service turned its eyes to America's coastlines. In this short period, the NPS successfully established all 14 of the country's national seashores and lakeshores, including Fire Island National Seahsore. Whey the rush? And how did Fire Island fit into the larger plan for protected shores? Join historian Jackie Mirandola Mullen as she delves into the controversial process of protecting shorelines across the country.

The Newest Fire Island Community
Thursday, June 18 6:30 pm –7:30 pm
Fire Island National Seashore Patchogue-Watch Hill Ferry Terminal, 631-687-4772

Fire Island National Seashore's enabling legislation provides for the protection of the barrier island's precious natural resources and cultural legacy. The legislation also protected Fire Island communities from highway development, making Fire Island National Seashore one of the last "communities" to arise on Fire Island. Author Shoshanna McCollum explores the challenges and successes of National Park Service and Fire Island community partnerships and celebrates a relationship that has endured 50 years and is key to protecting Fire Island for the next 50 years.

Land, Sea, and Sky: The Artwork of Old Mastic
Thursday, July 2 6:30 pm –7:30 pm
Fire Island National Seashore Patchogue-Watch Hill Ferry Terminal, 631-687-4772

Through the centuries, the Floyd/Nichols family and their guests painted or sketched life as they saw it on the old William Floyd Estate. The varied artwork in this presentation depicts sailing, farm life, people, and hunting scenes, and provides a glimpse into Long Island's past. Enjoy and explore Old Mastic-inspired artwork from artists, both well known and unknown, and spanning from the 1850s to the 1970s.

Coyotes in New York? Is Long Island Next?
Thursday, July 16 6:30 pm –7:30 pm
Fire Island National Seashore Patchogue-Watch Hill Ferry Terminal, 631-687-4772

Over the past two centuries, the coyote (Canis latrans) has undergone an amazing range expansion. Currently, Long Island is one of the few large land masses in the continental United States without a breeding population of northeastern coyote. Recently, coyotes have been changing their range and expanding across North America, suggesting a Long Island coyote population could be next. Come meet Dr. Mark Weckel, Science Research Mentoring Program Manager at the American Museum of Natural History to learn about these animals and what their expansion may mean.

History of the Patchogue River
Thursday, July 30 6:30 pm –7:30 pm
Fire Island National Seashore Patchogue-Watch Hill Ferry Terminal, 631-687-4772

Did you know shipbuilding was an important industry right here in Patchogue? Take a trip back in time with historian Steve Lucas as he shows images of the Patchogue River during the bustling boat-building era. Learn about historic boat yards, ship styles, and prominent boat builders like Gil Smith and view the "River Runs to It" exhibit in the Patchogue-Watch Hill Ferry Terminal.

BOFFO Fire Island Art Camp - Building Community Through the Arts
Thursday, August 13 6:30 pm –7:30 pm
Fire Island National Seashore Patchogue-Watch Hill Ferry Terminal, 631-687-4772

Fire Island has long inspired artists from all disciplines. BOFFO is a non-profit dedicated to fostering collaborations between artists, designers, communities, theorists, and the media in the exploration of contemporary subject matter that informs and educates the public through innovative, participatory public arts programming. Join BOFFO Executive Director and Co-Founder Faris Al-Shathir to learn more about this organization's work on Fire Island.

Maritime Culture of the Great South Bay
Thursday, August 27 6:30 pm –7:30 pm
Fire Island National Seashore Patchogue-Watch Hill Ferry Terminal, 631-687-4772

When European settlers first came to the shores of the Great South Bay in the 1800s, they began a long history of harvesting shell- and finfish and building boats and ships to support the burgeoning region. Nancy Solomon, Executive Director of Long Island Traditions, will examine the traditions that continue to present day, ranging from decoy carving and duck hunting to fishing and boat-bilding. Be a part of the discussion and share your Great South Bay memories and stories.

Migraiton of Monarch Butterflies
Thursday, September 10 6:30 pm –7:30 pm
Fire Island National Seashore Patchogue-Watch Hill Ferry Terminal, 631-687-4772

Beautiful and fragile, the monarch butterfly undertakes an arduous journey each fall and spring to and from Mexico. The annual migration cycle of this butterfly has been described as the most spectacular in the insect world. Annie McIntyre, Long Island Regional Manager of the Environmental Office of New York State Parks, will discuss this fascinating creature, its life cycle, habitat needs, and the present threats to its survival.

Printable 2015 Lecture Series Schedule.





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