Jacob Riis Bathhouse
The historic bathhouse in Jacob Riis Park, Queens, is part of Gateway's Jamaica Bay Unit.


Two states, three NYC boroughs, one national park

Gateway, a national park in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and New Jersey, includes a wide diversity of resources. These places tell the stories of our nation's defense, the golden age of aviation, maritime safety, public recreation and natural resource protection.

New York Harbor is America's largest port. To keep ships and cargo safe, lighthouses were set up at Sandy Hook, at Fort Wadsworth and other locations. The former U.S. Life Saving Service set up places to watch for the safety of ships and to rescue shipwrecked passengers and crew.

These were also ideal locations for forts and airfields defending New York from possible invasion or attack. The idea of using these areas for human recreation and wildlife conservation came later. New York City government set aside Jacob Riis Park for beachgoers and built Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge from former landfill. Sandy Hook became a beachcomber's destination only as Fort Hancock began to wind down.

For a closer look at these places, click the links below. You can also find out more about Gateway on our stories page.




Last updated: December 9, 2020

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