News Release

Jacob Riis Park Access Restrictions

2 photos from 2023 compared to 2 from 2024 to show the erosion that has occurred.
Sand Erosion at Jacob Riis

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News Release Date: May 24, 2024

Contact: Daphne Yun, 917 282 9393

Queens, N.Y. –  Due to extremely hazardous conditions Gateway National Recreation Area has restricted access to sections of Jacob Riis Park.

Significant erosion has occurred recently along the eastern shoreline of the beach at Jacob Riis Park. This erosion has created unsafe conditions from Bay 1 through Bay 5, exposing deteriorating wooden groins, rockwork, and other structures. During high tide the erosion has also caused a significant reduction in beach area, particularly at Bays 1, 3, and 4.

“We regret having to restrict access to these popular areas of Riis Beach, but visitor safety must come first,” said Gateway Superintendent Jen Nersesian.  “We will adapt as necessary this summer, while we continue to pursue long-term options for addressing beach erosion and public safety at this location."

In 2023, the National Park Service authorized placement of approximately 360,000 cubic yards of sand on the beach at Jacob Riis Park as part of the US Army Corps of Engineers, New York State, and New York City’s East Rockaway Inlet to Rockaway Inlet, and Jamaica Bay Storm Risk Reduction Project. It was anticipated that cyclic renourishment would be needed every 4-6 years to offset the effects of this project on the beach profile at Jacob Riis Park. Only a year later, much of the sand placed in 2023 has washed away due to weather conditions over the winter and spring. The National Park Service has reached out to USACE to refine the cycle of sand replenishment. 

Areas of Jacob Riis Park Beach are likely to remain closed throughout the 2024 Summer season for the protection of visitors.

About Gateway National Recreation Area A large diverse urban park spanning two states, Gateway combines recreational activities with natural beauty, wildlife preservation, military history and more. Visitors can hike, picnic, swim, sunbathe, bike, visit the oldest lighthouse in the nation, see an airplane collection and camp overnight, all in the New York metropolitan area. Gateway is one of the ten most visited national parks in the country. For information about Gateway's upcoming public programs, see the park's website at Follow Gateway on social media - Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @GatewayNPS.

Last updated: May 24, 2024

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