Guidelines for Special Park Uses
Gateway National Recreation Area's mission is that of the National Park Service (NPS) as written in the Organic Act of 1916, which states in part: “The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system for the enjoyment, education and inspiration of this and future generations.” In Gateway, opportunities for special park uses exist for visitor and organizational uses including personal, family, educational and program cultural uses, as well as filming and photography projects with areas of Gateway as the location. There are many cultural, scientific, and educational institutions that conduct research and programs by special park use permit.
The National Park Service may permit a special park use if the proposed activity will not:
Requesting a Special Use Permit For a Special Event
Requests for special use permits for events should be made by submitting an application at least 30 days prior to the date of the planned event. More advance notice is recommended. There is a non-refundable fee for processing your application for a special use permit. Please return the application form to request a permit as soon as possible. All questions should be answered as accurately and completely as possible. This will assist the park in determining the appropriateness of the planned activities and help to estimate NPS costs that may be incurred in managing, facilitating, or supporting the use. Submission of the application form and fee payment does not imply permission for any special use or event. Please see below for information to apply for each unit..
Special events are activities, such as organizational special events, religious gatherings, ceremonies, large group activity camps or rendezvous, and encampments.
Fees charged for administering a permit may include the following:
All permit activities must meet both National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Section 106 (National Historic Preservation Act) requirements and go through an environmental screening process. Compliance may add extra time to processing the permit.
Permits & Reservations
Scientific Research Permit
Please visit https://irma.nps.gov/rprs/ to access the National Park Service Research Permit and Reporting System.
First Amendment Activity
First Amendment activities include freedom of speech, press, religion, and assembly. All of these are constitutional rights. However, the courts have recognized that activities and rights may be reasonably regulated to protect park resources.
A small group, defined as "25 people or less," is NOT required to obtain a First Amendment permit if it is located within a park designated site and have no more than leaflets, booklets and/or hand held signs. A permit is required for any small group that:
A large group, defined as "more than 25 people," IS required to obtain a First Amendment Permit even if it is utilizing a park designated First Amendment site.
For all First Amendment events send in the special use permit that corresponds to the location you wish to utilize. There are no fees associated with First Amendment permits.
Jamaica Bay Unit Permits and Reservations
Jamaica Bay issues permits for activities listed below. Additional permits from other agencies may be required for some actions. Permits are required for group campgrounds, community garden plots, archery, fishing area parking and picnicking. Call 718-338-3799 for further information.
Breezy Point Tip Off Road Permits
Breezy Point Tip Off Road Permits are a specialized fishing/parking permits necessary to access the sand road, sand lot and Breezy Point Tip in the Jamaica Bay Unit. These are available in limited numbers, and only at the Ryan Visitor Center. A 4-wheel drive vehicle is required. All-wheel drive vehicles are not recommended. The Off Road Permit is valid anywhere in the park where the fishing/parking permit is honored. Off Road Permits are $50.
Sandy Hook Unit Permits and Reservations
Sandy Hook issues permits for activities listed below. Additional permits from other agencies may be required for some activities. Permits and/or reservations are required for fishing, ceremonies, camping, after hours park access, special events, filming and photography.
Standard Special Use Permit Application: Ceremonies, After Hours Uses and Memorials
Non-Standard Special Use Permit Application: Sporting Events, Runs and Other Events. Pay your application fee online.
Chapel: Rent the Sandy Hook Chapel for weddings, memorials, meetings, lectures, family gatherings and other large events. For information and photos, see sandyhookchapel.com. Pay your application fee online. Please be aware that demand for the Chapel is strong and that weekends often book a full year in advance.
For questions regarding the Sandy Hook Chapel, please e-mail us.
After Hours Fishing Permits are available at the Sandy Hook Visitor Center 9 AM - 5 PM year round and at the Entrance Station as staffing permits during the peak season. Fishing permits can also be purchased online and mailed within 14 days or picked up after 7 days. Permits are $50.
Staten Island Unit Permits and Reservations
Permits and/or reservations are required for parking (fishing, boat trailer and nature study), special use of the Fort Wadsworth overlook, ceremonies, athletic fields, Miller Field gardens, after hours park access, special events, filming and photography. Contact 718-354-4574 or e-mail us.
Great Kills Park: A $50 Boat Launch Permit is available for Great Kills only, and the launch site operates from April-November. These are available at Great Kills Ranger Station, which is open Saturday through Wednesday from 9 AM to 12 PM and 1 PM to 4 PM. Call 718-819-7574 for more information.
Crooke's Point: A $50 Nature Study Permit is available. Call 718-819-7574/718-351-6970 for more information.
World War Veterans Park at Miller Field: Permits are required for community garden plots, sports fields, and picnicking. Call 718-351-6970 for further information. Miller Field is open Wednesday - Sunday, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.
The Staten Island Unit sells fishing parking permits at Great Kills Park Saturday- Wednesday from 9:00 am to 4:00 PM. For more information call 718-819-7574.
In order to receive a permit you must first register with the
Please note that fishing/parking permits are good for the whole park, no matter which unit they were purchased in. However, to access Breezy Point Tip, you must purchase an off road permit at the Ryan Visitor Center.
Last updated: March 28, 2019