Join Friends of Fire Island National Seashore AND....

  • Support the National Park Service and the protection of the Fire Island National Seashore.
  • Learn about the dazzlingly varied ecology of marine plant and animal life native to Fire Island and Long Island.
  • Become acquainted with Fire Island's geography, history, neighborhoods, growth, and preservation.
  • Show your friends you care about wildlife, nature, and the beauty of the seashore - and get them to join you.
  • Enjoy the annual all-day Fire Island Orientation Tour boat cruise through the Great South Bay to the exotic Sunken Forest, the Lighthouse, and more.
  • Write for the FFINS newsletter about conservation, native species, special events, or other interests.
  • Help staff an event, fundraise, volunteer for a special project, or even propose your own.
  • Volunteer for the National Parks community events (beach clean ups, trail maintenance, educational activities, etc.)

As a result of expanding responsibilities and decreased purchasing power Fire Island National Seashore has had to reduce services. We want to help the Seashore better serve the public and protect the natural and historic resources. Please join the Friends of Fire Island National Seashore or volunteer your services at the park, please print out the FFINS membership application and mail it to the address listed. We look forward to hearing from you and thank you for your support!


 

Please share a thought with us, click here

 

“Personally I became the president of the group because I cherish the island, nature, and science and I would like to share it with other students. I was about 7 years old when I first went to Fire Island as part of a school field trip. I was enchanted by the sunken forest with its holly trees, the cleverly evolved fauna, and beaches littered with skate egg cases. During the international student field trip I remember students gasping and exclaiming happily as they saw the beach and monarch butterfly migration. It makes me happy to help provide them that experience and I think fostering an appreciation for nature is important in its conservation. I hope places like Fire Island will inspire students to be environmentally conscious in their lives. In addition, National parks are places where people can enjoy the outdoors and I am happy to support that cause. Appreciation for the environment can also be affected by understanding the value of ecology, and I was also hoping that eventually through participating in research on the island, students could gain a scientific perspective on nature in a pertinent local context.”
- Cara Lin (President of FFINS Student Chapter at Stony Brook University)

 

“Having an official FFINS student chapter on campus, has given our students and the SJC community as a whole, an opportunity to network and represent our College as environmental ambassadors to our National Parks Service as well as the many other communities that make up Fire Island itself -- to demonstrate that St. Joseph’s College is committed to fostering proper stewardship and responsible tourism in the preservation of our surrounding seashore. This mission of the chapter aligns itself well with our new HTM degree--as such, we’re hoping that our new found Fire Island connections will enable us to introduce our College to a whole new venue of people who will become our students.”
-Renée Kantro (FFINS Board Member, St. Joseph's College faculty & moderator of the FFINS Student Chapter at St. Joseph's College)

Membership Benefits

The Friends of Fire Island National Seashore has partnered with local businesses to provide our valued members opportunities to save while supporting FFINS. With your membership you will now get a FFINS membership discount card that will entitle you to discounts at local businesses.

Patchogue Discounts

Click here for a full list of businesses in the Patchogue area that offer this discount.

How it works:

  • All FFINS members will receive a FFINS membership discount card (pictured below) in the mail with the completion of their membership application and appropriate donation.
  • Once this is done check your mail. FFINS will distribute membership discount cards to FFINS members. FFINS membership discount card will be good for one year.
  • FFINS members will get discounts from participating businesses and restaurants when the card is presented.
  • Check out the FFINS website under Membership Benefits for up to date listings of participating businesses and discounts.

Membership Cost:

  • Students - $15/year
  • Individuals - $25/year
  • Family - $35/year
  • Business - $100/year

What a membership level will buy:

  • Student, Individual & Family -
    • 1 membership discount card
    • Invitation to special events
    • Updates on all FFINS events and activities
    • Discounts to local businesses and restaurants
    • Receive quarterly FFINS e-newsletter
  • Business -
    • 4 membership discount cards
    • Business listing on FFINS website
    • Invitation to special events
    • Updates on all FFINS events and activities
    • Discounts to local businesses and restaurants
    • Receive quarterly FFINS e-newsletter

To sign up now, click here.

Public Open House at Watch Hill Ferry Terminal

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is pleased to announce we will be hosting four public open houses to share the results of a recently completed visualization study and would like your input on our renewable energy planning efforts in Federal waters on the Outer Continental Shelf offshore New York.

During the open houses, panoramic photographs and short videos will be shown that simulate a potential, future offshore wind power project in Federal waters off Long Island, New York under various weather conditions and times of day and night. The simulations were generated from a series of key observation points that were selected in cooperation with the National Park Service and other stakeholders. 

The public open houses provide the opportunity for BOEM to receive stakeholder feedback regarding potential viewshed impacts to coastal areas of New York and New Jersey from renewable energy development offshore New York. Public comments will be used by BOEM to inform future planning efforts, including the identification of a New York Wind Energy Area currently being considered off Long Island. For background information about the area currently being considered by BOEM for leasing (the "New York Call Area"), visit BOEM's webpage at http://www.boem.gov/State-Activities-New-York/.

You are invited to visit at any time during the meetings, which will be held at the following times and locations:

Monday, June 8 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Floyd Bennett Field
50 Aviation Road
Brooklyn, NY 11234

Tuesday, June 9 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Watch Hill Ferry Terminal
150 West Avenue
Patchogue, NY 11772

Wednesday, June 10 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Sandy Hook Chapel ("Old Chapel")
35 Hartshorne Drive
Highlands, NJ 07732

Thursday, June 11 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Freeport Recreation Center
130 East Merrick Road
Freeport, NY 11520

Public engagement is integral to the renewable energy planning efforts regarding Federal waters offshore New York. Therefore, BOEM would like to encourage your participation during these meetings, and would like to ask your assistance in spreading the word.

 

White tailed Deer Movement on Fire Island

White-tailed Deer Movement Study Continues on Fire Island

Fire Island, New York – The National Park Service in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey and the State University of New York School of Environmental Science and Forestry fitted 15 female white-tailed deer with GPS-enabled radio tracking collars this past winter during the second year of a three-year White-tailed Deer Movement Study.

"The collars are collecting information that will help us better understand how white-tailed deer move about the island,” stated Fire Island National Seashore Wildlife Biologist Lindsay Ries. Designed to automatically release from the deer after about 12 months, the collars have a small unit attached that records location data at regular intervals. The collars also carry a radio frequency transmitter which allows park staff to track the animals and monitor their health and safety on a weekly basis during the 12-month period.

The Deer Movement Study is part of a larger, three-year research project developed in response to Hurricane Sandy. The project will assess the re-establishment of maritime vegetation at four locations impacted by sand deposition, salt water intrusion, and canopy mortality. The research also focuses on how white-tailed deer influence post-storm vegetation re-establishment at these locations.

In addition, the Deer Movement Study will complement existing deer population and vegetation monitoring efforts essential to the implementation of Fire Island National Seashore's Final Deer Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (Deer Plan/EIS) due out later this year. The Deer Plan/EIS will address issues associated with the number, distribution, and behavior of deer on Fire Island. For more information on the Deer Movement Study and Deer Plan/EIS, please visit www.nps.gov/fiis.

Fire Island Lighthouse Upcoming Programs

There is a lot to do at the Fire Island Lighthouse!

Check out the program schedule or visit the Fire Island Preservation Society web site

Tourism to Long Island National Parks Creates $21,460,500 in Economic Benefits

Tourism to Long Island National Parks Creates $21,460,500 in Economic Benefits
Report shows visitor spending supports 201 jobs in local economy

Long Island, NEW YORK – A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 403,662 visitors to national parks on Long Island in 2014 spent $17,043,600 in communities surrounding Sagamore Hill National Historic Site and Fire Island National Seashore. That spending supported 201 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $21,460,500.

"Sagamore Hill National Historic Site and Fire Island National Seashore welcome visitors from across the country and around the world,” said Sagamore Hill Superintendent Kelly Fuhrmann. "We are delighted to share the story of these places and the experiences they provide to every visitor.”

Chris Soller, Superintendent of Fire Island National Seashore, stated, "Visitation to national parks plays an important role in the nation's economy, returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service. Here on Long Island, tourism is a significant driver of our economy and visitors to Sagamore Hill National Historic Site and Fire Island National Seashore help sustain local communities.”

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and National Park Service economist Lynne Koontz.  The report shows $15.7 billion of direct spending by 292.8 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 277,000 jobs nationally; 235,600 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $29.7 billion.

According to the 2014 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (30.6 percent) followed by food and beverages (20.3 percent), gas and oil (11.9 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (9.9 percent).

To download the report visit http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/economics.cfm

The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.

To learn more about national parks on Long Island and how the National Park Service works with New York communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/NEWYORK.

Hurricane Sandy-funded Marina Construction Underway at Sailors Haven

Fire Island, New York – On March 23 Stout Construction Inc. was issued a Notice to Proceed by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to begin work on a marina upgrade at Sailors Haven. The $1,087,000 project is funded and managed by the FHWA through their Emergency Relief for Federally Owned Lands and is slated for completion by July 20. The project will upgrade marina materials, making the structure more resilient to future storms, and will replace utilities impacted in 2012 by Hurricane Sandy.

"Nearly three years after Hurricane Sandy we continue to make progress and to build with an eye on sustainability and resiliency,” said Fire Island National Seashore Facilities Manager James Dunphy. Plans call for the marina to be rebuilt with materials better equipped for the marine environment and for composite lumber to be installed over a strengthened substructure. New electric including marina service pedestals will also be installed.

Ferry service to Sailors Haven will continue to be provided by Sayville Ferry Service during construction and visitors may also access Sailors Haven by foot from nearby Fire Island communities. Minor interruptions to regularly scheduled ferries may occur to accommodate construction activities. Beginning mid-May, the National Park Service (NPS) will open the Sailors Haven Visitor Center on weekends and Fire Island Concessions will operate the snack bar and gift shop. 

The project will require the closure of Sailors Haven marina slips to private boaters through July 20 and bayside shoreline access to the site will be restricted. "Safety and resource protection are our highest priorities,” stated Fire Island National Seashore Superintendent Chris Soller. "We will work to provide safe access for visitors arriving by ferry throughout the construction process and hope boaters will take the opportunity to explore and enjoy other parts of Fire Island National Seashore while the Sailors Haven marina is undergoing construction.” Boaters are encouraged to visit Talisman/Barrett, an NPS site with limited services, approximately four miles east, or the Watch Hill marina, which is about seven miles east of Sailors Haven.

Sailors Haven is home to one of the best known areas of Fire Island National Seashore – the Sunken Forest. The site is located near the middle of the island, across the Great South Bay from Sayville, New York. From late spring through early fall, the NPS provides guided tours of the globally rare forest as well as other programming. For more information on Sailors Haven, Watch Hill, and Talisman/Barrett please visit www.nps.gov/fiis.

Nesting Bald Eagles at William Floyd Estate for First Time in Decades: Park Areas Closed to Protect Nesting Birds

Long Island, New York – On March 22 a National Park Service Park Ranger discovered a nesting pair of bald eagles at the William Floyd Estate, a unit of Fire Island National Seashore located in Mastic on Long Island. Portions of the William Floyd Estate will be closed to the public through the nesting season to protect the eagles and nest site during this sensitive time.

"As stewards of this National Park Unit, we are thrilled that bald eagles have returned to the William Floyd Estate,” Superintendent Chris Soller said. Park Ranger MaryLaura Lamont's record is the first documentation of bald eagles at the William Floyd Estate since the 1930s and one of only a handful of nests that have been documented on Long Island in recent years.

More than fifty years ago bald eagles faced extinction due to habitat loss, illegal hunting, and DDT contamination. Bald eagles were initially afforded protection under the 1940 Bald Eagle Protection Act and further protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Eagles were removed from ESA listing in 2007 but remain protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.  "The return of nesting bald eagles is a hopeful sign of environmental quality and a huge conservation success,” stated Soller.

The William Floyd Estate grounds will open to the public on weekends starting Saturday, May 2and on Friday, May 22, house tours will begin. In an effort to ensure the success of the nest, public access to portions of the Estate grounds will be limited. Visitors are reminded to obey area closures and to adhere to National Park Service regulations. Failure to comply with these regulations is a violation of Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations 2.2 (a)(2) and may result in fines or imprisonment.

Bald eagles are large raptors that typically breed at four to five years of age. Nest building begins in early winter, with egg laying and incubation (33-35 days) starting as early as February. Throughout the nesting period bald eagles are very sensitive to disturbances and may abandon the nest.

The William Floyd Estate, authorized as an addition to Fire Island National Seashore in 1965, contains the ancestral home, grounds, and cemetery of the William Floyd family. William Floyd, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was born in the house in 1734. For more information on the William Floyd Estate and house and grounds tours, please visitwww.nps.gov/fiis.

A Great End to the Season on Fire Island:
Successful FFINS Annual Orientation Tour to Fire Island

FFINS held another successful Annual Orientation Tour to Fire Island for Stony Brook University newly matriculated international students on Sunday, September 21, 2014. Thank you to all who supported the tour and enjoyed the day with us! The tour started out with a relaxing ferry ride across the Great South Bay from the Sayville Ferry Terminal to Sailor's Haven, Fire Island. Once at Sailor's Haven, the participants were free to explore Fire Island through a variety of activities; seining in the shallows of the Great South Bay, a guided trail walk through the unique ecosystems of the Sunken Forest and the Atlantic Ocean shore, and a walk through the nearby downtown of Cherry Grove.

We had 213 participants this year making it our highest turn out ever! For most of our tour participants this was the first time they had visited Fire Island. St. Joseph's College students and faculty joined too making it the first year that both student chapters have participated. The Annual Orientation Tour to Fire Island seems to be established as part of the annual orientation for Stony Brook University international/exchange students which is an accomplishment we are proud to note. We hope to develop our relationship with Stony Brook University and St. Joseph's College in the years to come and continue to spread the appreciation and wonderment of Fire Island.

Click on the image below to view some photos from the event.

Hospitality Provided by SJCNY Stewards: Renée Kantro, Dr. Janice Scarinci, Anita Stern, Fire Island National Park Rangers, the Friends of Fire Island National Seashore and SBU-International Student Program

Stories from Fire Island

Some students that embarked on the recent trip to Fire Island wrote stories about their experiences. Click on any of the titles below to read them.

"Sailor's Haven-a beautiful tourist destination worth visiting" - By Laurie Johnson

"Fire Island-quite the adventure!" - By Caitlin Corbett

"From stepping foot onto that ferry I knew it was going to be a great day!" - By Stefanie Muhlbuck

"Today, I was a tourist in my own state" - By Alexandra Pick

Events

William Floyd Estate

245 Park Drive, Mastic Beach, NY 11951
Hours of Operation:
May 23 - November 11, 2014
Friday - Sunday & Holidays Grounds: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Phone: (631) 399-2030

Directions:
By car via the William Floyd Parkway
LIE (I-495) or Sunrise Hwy (Rt.27) to William Floyd Parkway (2 miles) south. Make left onto Neighborhood Rd, to end of road, follow William Floyd Estate signs to main parking lot.

Wilderness Visitor Center

Hours of Operation:
June 28 - September 1, 2014
Wednesday - Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Phone: (631) 281-3010

Directions:
By car or bus via the William Floyd Parkway, Mastic Beach, NY 11951
Located at the southern terminus ?of William Floyd Parkway. Parking available at Smith Point County Park. (Fee for parking)

Watch Hill Visitor Center

150 West Avenue Patchogue, NY 11772
Hours of Operation:
June 28 - September 1, 2014
Wednesday - Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday - Sunday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Phone: (631) 597-6455

Directions:
By ferry via the Patchogue/Watch Hill Ferry
From LIE (I-495) to Exit 61 South (County Rd. 19) or Sunrise Hwy (Rt 27) to Exit 52 south (County Rd.19). Approx. 1 mile, bear left onto West Avenue. Cross Main Street and terminal is about 1/2 mile down.

Sailors Haven Visitor Center

41 River Road Sayville, NY 11782
Hours of Operation:
June 28 - September 1, 2014
Wednesday - Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday - Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Phone: (631) 597-6183

Directions:
By ferry via the Sayville Ferry
LIE (I-495) or Sunrise Hwy. (Rt.27) to Nicholls Rd. (Rt.97) south. Approx. 5.5 miles to Montauk Hwy. (Rt. 85), make right. Make left at Foster Ave. Follow green & white "Fire Island Ferry" signs to terminal. (Fee for parking)

Fire Island Lighthouse

Hours of Operation:
Open daily, year-round
For information about hours of operation, programs and fees call the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society (FILPS)
Phone: (631) 661-4876 or visit www.fireislandlighthouse.com

Directions:
By car via the Robert Moses Causeway
Located at the southern terminus of the Robert Moses Causeway, just east of Robert Moses State Park. Parking available at Robert Moses State Park Field #5. (Fee for parking)
1-mile walk west from Kismet.

Student Chapters

Stony Brook University

St. Joseph's College

If you are interested in starting a student chapter at your school, please contact us here.