Why Are Ocean Beaches Closed March 15 through Labor Day?
Beach-nesting birds like the piping plover and least tern are federally protected species. These small shorebirds build nests on the beach, and are vulnerable to wild animals and to humans and their pets during this sensitive time. Pets resemble shorebird predators, and can cause adult birds to abandon their nest.
While Fire Island National Seashore offers some areas where you and your pet may enjoy the park together responsibly, the National Park Service does not allow pets (excluding service animals) in buildings, on ocean beaches from March 15 through Labor Day, in picnic areas, or in areas closed for wildlife protection.
For the safety of your pet, the park's resources, and other visitors, your pet must be kept on leash and under control. Leashes must be six feet in length or less. With a leash, your pet is less likely to be exposed to (which may transmit Lyme disease), (oils can be transferred from your pet's fur to your skin, causing a rash), or other plants with thorns or burs. It also decreases the chance of a dangerous encounter with or other pets.
Rules and restrictions on pets vary in the Fire Island communities. If you plan to visit one of the 17 communities, Robert Moses State Park, or Smith Point County Park, please contact them directly for their current regulations regarding pets.