Laws & Policies

A number of laws and policies guide the management of the National Park Service and its individual parks. Starting with the founding legislation that created Fire Island National Seashore, specific legislation and selected federal regulations are provided below.

Enabling Legislation for Fire Island National Seashore

  • September 11, 1964: Congress passed Public Law 88-587 to establish Fire Island National Seashore.
  • October 9, 1965: Public Law 89-244 authorized the Secretary of the Interior to accept a donation of the William Floyd Estate for addition to Fire Island National Seashore.
  • November 10, 1978: Public Law 95-625 authorized boundary changes.
  • December 23, 1980: Public Law 96-585 designated approximately 1,363 acres of land within Fire Island National Seashore as the "Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness," with approximately 18 acres of potential wilderness.
  • July 18, 1984: Public Law 98-369 authorized New York State's conveyance of 125 acres of land to Fire Island National Seashore.
  • October 17, 1984: Public Law 98-482 modified land acquisition and disposal policies for Fire Island National Seashore.

For more information:


Special Regulations in Effect for Fire Island National Seashore

Park rangers enforce a number of federal regulations in the park, including the United States Code (Titles 16, 18, 21), and the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 36 (36 CFR).

36 CFR includes special regulations which have also been promulgated for Fire Island National Seashore.

  • Fire Island National Seashore: Zoning Standards (36 CFR Ch. I, Part 28)
  • Fire Island National Seashore Special Regulations (36 CFR Ch. I, Section 7.20)
    including a) Operation of Motor Vehicles; b) Operation of Seaplanes and Amphibious Aircraft; and d) Personal Watercraft

Within 36 CFR, park superintendents are granted the right to make park-specific regulations to maintain public health and safety, protect environmental or scenic values, protect natural and cultural resources, aid in scientific research, provide for equitable use of facilities, and avoid conflict among visitor use activities. These park-specific regulations are found in the Superintendent's Compendium, updated each year and available by request.

National Park Rangers at Fire Island National Seashore also enforce New York State fishing, hunting, and motor vehicle laws, as well as other applicable state laws.

For a copy of the 2023 Superintendent's Compendium, please click here, or email e-mail us for a copy of the Superintendent's Compendium.

Firearms in National Parks

The law governing possession of firearms inside a national park changed on February 22, 2010. Visitors may possess firearms within a national park unit provided they comply with federal, state, and local laws.

The role of the responsible gun owner is to know and obey the federal, state, and local laws appropriate to the park they are visiting.

Please remember that federal law prohibits firearms in certain park facilities and buildings. These places are marked with signs at public entrances.



Fire Island National Seashore would like to provide clarification regarding the use of possession of marijuana on Federal lands and waters. The New York State law, which allows for limited recreational marijuana use under certain conditions, has no bearing on Federal laws which continue to identify marijuana as a Schedule I illegal drug, and prohibit its use.

Possession of marijuana or use of any amount of marijuana is still prohibited in Fire Island National Seashore, its facilities, concessions, and campgrounds. Violations are punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000.00 for an individual or $10,000.00 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both (16 U.S.C. 551, 18 U.S.C. 3559 and 3571).

Last updated: September 28, 2023

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