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.

Special Anniversary Exhibit: A River Runs to It

Weekends, June 27 through September 27
Patchogue-Watch Hill Ferry Terminal
Opening Reception: Thursday, July 2, 5:30 - 8:30 PM
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.

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.

Print out and share a 50th Anniversary Finale Flyer or see the Calendar for a full listing of Labor Day Weekend events.

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

The History of the Patchogue River
Thursday, July 2 6:30 –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. View the "River Runs to It" exhibit at this opening reception and special presentation at the Patchogue-Watch Hill Ferry Terminal.

Coyotes in New York? Is Long Island Next?
Thursday, July 16 6:30 –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.

Land, Sea and Sky: The Artwork of Old Mastic
Thursday, July 30 6:30 –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.

Arts Afire: Fire Island National Seashore's Artist-in-Residence Program
Thursday, August 13 6:30 - 7:30 pm
Fire Island National Seashore Patchogue-Watch Hill Ferry Terminal, 631-687-4772

Fire Island National Seashore's first artist-in-residence and program coordinator, Dawn Lee, will discuss the Seashore's newly developed Artist-in-Residence program.

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.

Printable Summer 2015 Lecture Series Schedule: Patchogue-Watch Hill Ferry Terminal

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