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.

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, Twitter, and Instagram.

Special Anniversary Exhibits

A River Runs to It
Weekends, June 27 through September 27
Patchogue-Watch Hill Ferry Terminal

The Greater Patchogue Historical Society partners with Fire Island National Seashore for this exhibit about the history of the Patchogue River and its connection to Fire Island. See vintage photographs, circa 1800s hand-drawn maps, and memorabilia.

Protecting a Ribbon of Sand: The Creation of Fire Island National Seashore
August 8 through October 12
Fire Island Lighthouse Fresnel Lens Building

Through correspondence, articles, memorabilia, and photographs, the exhibit explores the battle over the fate of Fire Island from the turn of the century until the Seashore's 1964 establishment.

Save the Date: Labor Day Weekend 2015

50th Anniversary Finale Events (listed by date from West to East):

Friday, September 4:

  • Fire Island Lighthouse: Lighthouse Tower Tours all day starting at 10:00 am.
  • Fire Island Lighthouse: Evening Seaside Stroll to Kismet (6:15 –7:45 pm). Reservations required. Meet at Robert Moses State Park Field #5. Join the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society on this special walk exploring the natural and cultural history of the Lighthouse Tract. Talk with a Kismet "year-rounder," and enjoy the sunset at the Surf's Out restaurant. Finish at the Fresnel Lens Building and view "Protecting a Ribbon of Sand: The Creation of Fire Island National Seashore," a special exhibit curated by lifelong summer residents, Cathy and Susan Barbash.
  • Sailors Haven: Sunken Forest Tour (11:15 am –1:00 pm).
  • Watch Hill: Sunset Canoe Tour (5:00 –7:00 pm). Space is limited. Sign up at the Watch Hill Visitor Center starting at 10:00 am. Glide along on a guided canoe tour of the Seashore's most extensive salt marsh.
  • Wilderness: Sunset Breach Hike (6:00 –8:30 pm).Explore Fire Island's dynamic landscape on this 3-mile round-trip saunter to the wilderness breach.
  • William Floyd Estate: Old Mastic House Tours every half hour, 10:00 am –4:00 pm.
Saturday, September 5:
  • Fire Island Lighthouse: Lighthouse Tower Tours all day starting at 10:00 am.
  • Fire Island Lighthouse: Hike through History (3:00 –4:30 pm). Meet at Robert Moses Field #5. Step back in time as you walk from the parking field to the Lighthouse. Learn about the grassroots effort to protect Fire Island from development leading to the establishment of a national seashore on Fire Island.
  • Sailors Haven: Sunken Forest Tour (11:15 am –1:00 pm).
  • Sailors Haven: Junior Ranger Program: Fire Island Festivities (2:00 –3:30 pm).
  • Sailors Haven: Enchanted Evening Sunken Forest to Cherry Grove Hike (4:30 –7:30 pm). Explore the Sunken Forest and continue on to neighboring Cherry Grove, one of Fire Island's oldest residential communities.
  • Watch Hill: Watch Hill to Long Cove Ramble (11:00 am –1:00 pm). Journey over sand and through time to Long Cove –once a small seaside community now within the Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness.
  • Watch Hill: Guided Canoe Tour (11:00 am –1:00 pm). Space is limited. Sign-up at the Watch Hill Visitor Center starts at 10:00 am.
  • Watch Hill: Junior Ranger Program: Fire Island Festivities (2:00 –3:30 pm)
  • Wilderness Visitor Center: Maritime Music with the Shipmates (7:00 –8:30 pm). An evening of sea shanties with the Shipmates. Sit back and enjoy the show or contribute to the music making with your own acoustic instrument.
  • William Floyd Estate:50 Years –50 Plants Tour (9:30 –11:00 am). Search for 50 species of trees, shrubs, wildflower and ferns with a park ranger at the historic William Floyd Estate.
  • William Floyd Estate: Old Mastic House Tours every half hour, 10:00 am –4:00 pm.
Sunday, September 6
  • Fire Island Lighthouse: Lighthouse Tower Tours all day starting at 10:00 am.
  • Fire Island Lighthouse: 50 Years of Fire Island (2:00 –3:00 pm). An armchair tour of the Seashore's natural and cultural treasures.
  • Sailors Haven: Sunken Forest Tour (11:15 am –1:00 pm).
  • Sailors Haven and Watch Hill: Sand Creation Contest (10:00 am –3:00 pm).All ages and skills are welcome. Contest Theme: By the Sea. Judging starts at 2:00 pm;awards /prizes at 3:00 pm.
  • Watch Hill: Guided Canoe Tour (11:00 am –1:00 pm). Space is limited. Sign up at the Watch Hill Visitor Center starting at 10:00 am.
  • Wilderness Visitor Center: 50 Years of Fire Island (2:00 –4:00 pm). Take an armchair tour of the Seashore's natural and cultural treasures, and then a short stroll along Fire Island's beautiful shore.
  • William Floyd Estate: Old Mastic House Tours every half hour, 10:00 am –4:00 pm.
Monday, September 7
  • Fire Island Lighthouse:Lighthouse Tower Tours all day starting at 10:00 am
  • Sailors Haven and Watch Hill: 50 Years of Fire Island (11:00 am –1:00 pm). First, take an armchair tour of the Seashore's natural and cultural treasures, then join a ranger-guided Sunken Forest Tour at Sailors Haven, or a cross-island nature walk at Watch Hill.
  • William Floyd Estate: Old Mastic House Tours every half hour, 10:00 am –4:00 pm.
For more information visit http://www.nps.gov/fiis/planyourvisit/calendar.htm or email e-mail us.
 

Fifty Years of Fire Island Lecture Series: Summer 2015 Schedule

Maritime Culture of the Great South Bay
Thursday, August 27 6:30 – 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-building. Be a part of the discussion and share your Great South Bay memories and stories.

Migration of Monarch Butterflies
Thursday, September 10 6:30 –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.

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