Central Long Island Chapter

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Central Long Island Chapter

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The Surfrider Foundation's Central Long Island chapter was started in April 2004, by a group of concerned local beach-goers and water sport enthusiasts. Their goal was to educate the community on issues affecting the marine environment and rally support to help protect and preserve the beauty and integrity of Long Island's beaches and its natural resources.

In a short period of time, the chapter has made great strides in reaching its goals. And although we live on an island, we understand that no man is an island. We could not be where we are today without the dedication and support of countless individuals, families, and businesses.

The accomplishments achieved by the Central LI chapter since 2004, include:

  • Numerous public and educational outreaches
  • Participation in community educational events
  • Beach clean-ups galore
  • Hosting public speakers
  • Beach adoption
  • Campaigns for increased beach access
  • Paddle outs commemorating September 11th
  • Fundraisers
  • Family fun days
  • TV spots and interviews regarding our coastal impact

As beach-lovers, we recognize the tremendous inherent value of the world's oceans. With a strong commitment to our goals, we are confident that through community-focused efforts we will continue to foster stewardship of the environment, so that all may enjoy the wonders of the waves for many generations to come.

Beach/Surf Access
An Overview of Central Long Island Surf Access:
Late 50s / Early 60s - Beach access was not a problem anywhere between Rockaway and Montauk. (At best count there were 2 surfers)

Mid 60s - The only access to Robert Moses State beaches was by way of ferry - out of Captree. No surfboards were allowed. The Robert Moses Bridge was not yet built. Rumor had it that surfing was permitted at Jones Beach until someone broke a leg surfing there and subsequently sued the state. That event ended surfing on state land until the 70s. Surfers accessing Democrat Point by boat ran the risk of having their board impounded by the State Police, if it washed up. And .. boards were impounded. (There were no leashes in those days.)

Late 60s - Beach Buggy/Fishing Permits used to access Demo were taken away from anyone caught on the beach with a surfboard.

Early 70s - Proactive efforts by a group of local surfers belonging to the ESA (Eastern Surfing Association) got the State to open up Jones Beach West End 2 for surfing during the months of December to August. They conceded access to the fishermen during September, October and November .. knowing well these were prime surfing months. (Still in effect today)

Late 70s - The same group that was responsible for opening West End 2, worked another 8 years seeking access to all of Robert Moses State beaches. They were successful in opening Field 3 as a Pilot Program. (It is worth mentioning this program was jeopardized - and almost lost - due to the constant disrespect of the red flags by uneducated surfers)

Mid 80s - Town of Babylon Supervisor, Anthony Noto, moved to ban surfing at town beaches - citing beach erosion. Chain link fences were erected and signs posted 'No Surfing Permitted'. The conflict between surfers and local town government generated national interest. The grass-roots movement to re-open the beaches, combined with overwhelming support from concerned citizens, helped overturn Noto's decision and effectively ended his political career.

Early 90s - After a 15-year Pilot Program at Field 3, Bernadette Castro, New York State Parks Commissioner, conditionally opened all of Robert Moses State beaches to surfing West of the red flags.

Additional Facts - Since the 60s, it has been illegal to use a fishing 4x4 permit to access surf breaks at Hemlocks and at Democrat Point - punishable by loss of permit. Surfers of the 90s, through to present day, have enjoyed the most relaxed policing of surfing on Long Island since the mid 60s.

Today - Possession of a surfboard past the posted 'End of Surf Area' sign at the west end of Robert Moses Field 2 will result in a ticket for disobeying a posted sign. Emergency stopping only is permitted on a State Highway - stopping to discharge a passenger (with or without a surfboard) is not considered an emergency and will result in a ticket. The perceived increase in policing and ticketing at Democrat Point and Hemlocks will have to be a 'wait and see' to determine if this is an isolated issue or a 'new movement'.

You can contact the Central Long Island Chapter via email at centrallongisland@surfrider.org

Other Surfrider Foundation Chapters Nearby

Chapter City State Driving Distance
Connecticut Chapter Mystic CT 084 miles
DC Chapter Washington DC 234 miles
Delaware Chapter Millsboro DE 180 miles
Eastern Long Island Chapter Amagansett NY 064 miles
Jersey Shore Chapter Belmar NJ 052 miles
Maine Chapter Portland ME 257 miles
Massachusetts Chapter Cambridge MA 162 miles
New Hampshire Chapter Portsmouth NH 209 miles
New York City Chapter New York NY 036 miles
Ocean City Chapter Ocean City MD 189 miles
Rhode Island Chapter Narragansett RI 110 miles
South Jersey Chapter Egg Harbor Twp NJ 115 miles
Virginia Beach Chapter Virginia Beach VA 303 miles