The Beach belongs to everyone

We want Long Island to be a place where this, and the next generation can surf, windsurf, sail, swim, sunbathe, fish, kayak or just soak in Long Island's Natural Beauty.

Long Island is losing its waterfront and wet lands to private homes at an alarming pace. Beach Access is disappearing right along with it. In addition, many NYS laws concerning Beach Access are archaic at best.

It is not LIBAG's intent to take away any existing rights of NYS Beach users. Only to add to them.

We are fortunate, to be working with the Long Island Regional State Parks Commission towards solutions that would allow all beach user groups equal access to all NYS Parks Beaches, with out excluding or taking away any access rights from any user groups.

The Long Island Beach Access Group is most commonly known for its four core programs;

1- The Beach Access program whose research and advocacy programs support the maintenance and expansion of access to those remote beach locations on Long Island for all users.

2- Also, our Beach Preservation program works to sponsor, participate and encourage those activities that ensure the healthy maintenance of our beaches and barrier islands, such as beach grass plantings.

3- Our Beach Clean-up program works to sponsor, participate and encourage continual beach clean-ups in conjunction with the America Littoral Society. This includes the adoption of Gilgo Beach.

4- But also, Long Island Beach Access Group is known for our Beach Actions program which seeks to encourage and reward proper behavior when enjoying the beaches. This includes following the official rules and regulations of each of the beaches and areas that provide access to those beaches, promoting the “Carry in, Carry out more” philosophy, and in a more informal fashion, instructing people on safe enjoyment of our natural resources.

Remember: it is not LIBAG's intent to take away any existing rights of NYS Beach users. Only to add to them.

LIBAG is honored to work with New York State Park officials, as we continue to connect the Parks to the People.

We look forward to our continued work with New York State officials in order to implement solutions that encourage more diverse use of NYS’s Beaches.

CONTACT US email me

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Stillwater pilot program

If you missed it, go to our website for the original

~ NEW YORK STATE ~ New York State Office of Parks,
Recreation and Historic Preservation
Long Island Region - Belmont Lake State Park, P.O. Box 247, Babylon, NY 11702-0247

Andrew M. Cuomo

Rose Harvey

Regional Guidelines for Beach Access Pilot Program
for Certain Water Sports
Section 13.13 of the Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Law and 9
NYCRR Section 377.1 provide authority to regulate water sports activities.
Effective October 15, 2011 the following pilot program is being implemented at
the listed Long Island State Parks through November 31,2013 for certain water
During this time period the pilot program will be continually reviewed, and may be
revoked or amended at any time by the Regional Director. At the end of this twoseason
period the Region will provide a report and recommendation on whether
or how the program could be formally implemented on a long-term basis.

Caumsett State Park and the west areas of Sunken Meadow are being
considered for possible inclusion in this pilot program.
Personal Floatation Devices are required for every person who is in or on a
water craft while the water craft is in the water. Use of inflatables,
parasailing, kite surfing and use of any motor- powered craft are
prohibited. Patrons must obey all signs and comply with all other
regulations issued by the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic
Orient Beach State Park
Canoeing, kayaking, wind surfing and paddle boarding are allowed in Long
Beach Bay or Gardiner's Bay launching only from the traffic circle west of the
bathhouse 7 days per week from April 1st through October 31st during the hours
between 8 a.m. and sunset. Users will be provided with a sign-in, sign-out sheet
for people undertaking these activities.
Wildwood State Park
Canoeing, kayaking, and paddle boarding are allowed in the Long Island Sound,
launching only at a point 600 feet east of the designated swimming area.
Parking is in the general day use area. Equipment must be walked down the
beach access road to the launch point. The listed activities will be allowed during
the hours between 7 a.m. and sunset from the last weekend in June to Labor
Day on weekdays only, excluding holidays. Wind surfing qnd small sail boats are
prohibited from launching anywhere at Wildwood S.P. due to the presence of
barely submerged large rocks offshore.
Sunken Meadow State Park
Canoeing, kayaking, wind surfing and paddle boarding are allowed throughout
the year only at two launch points - northeast corner of Field 3 for Long Island
Sound, and the eastern edge of Field 3 to the Nissequogue River. Free Beach
Access Permits are required when Field 3 is closed for general day use and must
be obtained at the park office 7 days per week, during the hours between 7a.m.
and sunset. No permit is required when Field 3 is open for parking.
Heckscher State Park
Canoeing, kayaking, wind surfing, paddle boardin~, and launching of catamarans
are allowed from March 1st through November 30t ,7 days per week, during the
hours between 7 a.m. and sunset, launching only from Field 7. [Joe's Beach]

Ronald F. Foley
Regional Director

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Thank You

LIBAG would like to thank everyone who came out for our annual American Littoral Society Beach Clean Up. We understand some of you attended Senator Owen Johnson’s clean up as well That’s two clean ups in one day!

Thank you

Sunday, August 14, 2011

LIBAG's Annual Fall Beach Clean Up

It's time for LIBAG's Annual Fall Beach Clean Up. We do this each year in cooperation with The American Littoral Society.

Where:   Robert Moses State Park, Field 5

When: September 17th (Rain date 9/18)

Meet at 10:00 at the RM 5, Concession Patio Area. It should take about 2 hours.

The members of The Long Island Beach Access Group wish to thank you in advance for helping us to keep Long Island's Beaches clean.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

From May 30, 2011 Newsday

Riordan: Open up Long Island's beaches

May 30, 2011 by JACK RIORDAN
Jack Riordan, of Brightwaters, is spokesman for the Long Island Beach Access Group.

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, one of the best seasons to be a Long Islander. Our Island is blessed with countless beautiful beaches and parks, which offer almost all of the needed ingredients for many enjoyable outdoor activities.

What's the missing ingredient? Broader parkland access.
Last year, as a member of a group dedicated to the safe enjoyment of our natural resources, I approached the governor-appointed commissioners of the Long Island Region of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Our concern was opening up the unguarded and more remote waterfront areas of Long Island to activities beyond what's currently permitted there: sport fishing.
For at least five decades, these areas have required state-issued 4x4 vehicle-access permits, and only for the purpose of fishing. Activities such as surfing, windsurfing, kayaking, as well as camping, are listed on these permits as prohibited.
While many Long Islanders became interested in water sports from the encouragement of parents, families and friends, the prior generations did nothing to make it possible to enjoy these other sports at the state-owned and operated beaches here. Preceding generations created a balkanized environment, dividing outdoor lovers into separate groups: those who enjoy the exciting sport of fishing, and those who connect with nature through beachcombing or catching a barreling wave. Many prime locations on Long Island are not open to everyone throughout the year -- but the situation has started to improve.
In 2009, for instance, the Town of Babylon offered a 4x4 wave surfing beach access permit. All permits sold out before the day's end, surprising the town's Parks Department. During any nice weekend that summer, there were usually 75 to 100 vehicles at this popular beach -- even though only 50 permits had been issued. Last year, the program was modified to enable more residents to take advantage of it. While in 2009, the number of permits for nonresidents was limited to 25 of the 50 issued, in 2010 it was 25 of 100. Again, all permits sold in a day.
The late winter storms of 2010 decimated this beach, unfortunately, and it has since been closed. The surfers who sought out this location now must find other beaches to visit. There are other Long Island locations where the waves are ideal for surfing, but some are going to New Jersey or other coastal states. Even though New York has many excellent surfing beaches, the state needs to change the permitting restrictions to allow the sport.
This month, the Long Island parks commissioners voted unanimously -- over the objection of a sizable group of fishermen -- to recommend expanding sport activities at the non-oceanfront parks of our region. The regional director has agreed to hammer out a program with input from the interested parties.
When it is all done, we expect the state parks will be expanding their current offerings to include stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking and canoeing at Heckscher State Park; windsurfing at Orient Beach and, in a more limited fashion, because of its tight path to the shore and serious erosion problems, at Wildwood State Park; and, once a new parking lot near the beach is completed, car-top launching of canoes at Caumsett State Park.
The state parks department is also preparing a master plan for Sunken Meadow State Park, which may include expanded sports access. Windsurfing and kayaking has already been permitted here for at least a decade.
While some anglers claim the addition of these sports at these sites will have a negative impact on fishing, there are many miles of remote and unguarded beaches that go underutilized throughout the year by both fishermen and other groups. There's an opportunity for sharing these special resources in a safe manner.
More, safe access leads to more park patrons, more opportunities for our state parks to fulfill their mission to Long Island residents and visitors, and more money to roll back into the system from admission and special permit fees.
Real change happens in small steps. The Long Island Beach Access Group has been working for more than 10 years to open up our state parks. These recent developments are a sign of progress in our quest for expanded access and a cause for celebration. Now we all need to continue to work together to permanently lift access restrictions and allow for more universal experiences along our precious waterfronts.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

From May 13th Newsday

More state beaches to allow water sports

May 13, 2011 by BILL BLEYER /
Photo credit: John Dunn | Jeanne Baumann of Amityville gets some air while windsurfing at Heckscher State Park in East Islip. (Apr. 17, 2011)
State parks officials Friday said they will allow windsurfing and other water sports at four more Long Island beaches.
Ronald Foley, regional director of the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, said the agency will move to implement the changes, possibly in time for this summer.
His statement came after the advisory Long Island State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commission voted to recommend expanded water sports access at Orient Beach, Wildwood, Heckscher and Caumsett. The vote came during a meeting at Bethpage State Park, over the vociferous objections of more than 75 fishermen who said the additional uses would conflict with their sport.
Foley said he will meet with the agency's Fishing Advisory Board, other fishing groups and the Long Island Beach Access Group to determine which areas in each park will be open to the new sports.
The approval will permit these activities:
At Heckscher, paddleboarding, kayaking and canoeing.
At Orient Beach, windsurfing.
At Wildwood, windsurfing, but only on weekdays during the swimming season.
At Caumsett, car-top launching of canoes and kayaks, but not until a new parking lot near the beach is constructed. Windsurfing will be considered.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


State officials mull allowing water sports at 5 LI beaches
(05/13/11) HECKSCHER STATE PARK - State officials have announced that they are considering allowing more water sports at five Long Island beaches, raising concerns among local fishermen.
During today's hearing of the Long Island State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commission, fishermen protested a plan to allow more water sports at Heckscher, Orient Beach, Wildwood, Caumsett, and Sunken Meadow state parks.
Fishermen say they're permitted to use only a small portion of state beaches on the Island, and they fear these new activities may push them out.
However, water sports advocates disagree.
"They are safe activities, they need very little space on the beach," says Jack Riordan, of the Long Island Beach Access Group.
Some residents say they're open-minded about water sports, so long as the activities don't interfere with swimmers.
The commission approved the expanded sports plan, recommending to the New York State Parks Department that the new activities be allowed away from busy areas.
News 12 Poll
Are you in favor of allowing water sports at state parks?
Yes (969 - 70%)
No (417 - 30%)
Total Votes: 1386

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Newsday May 12th

State mulls water sports at LI beaches

May 12, 2011 by BILL BLEYER /

Photo credit: John Dunn | Jeanne Baumann of Amityville gets some air while windsurfing at Heckscher State Park in East Islip. (Apr. 17, 2011)
State parks officials Friday will consider whether to allow windsurfing and other water sports at four Long Island beaches.
Surfers, windsurfers and paddlers represented by the Long Island Beach Access Group have been seeking increased access for a decade. Fishermen, who already have beach access, vociferously oppose the move, saying it will interfere with their sport.
Bryan Erwin, chairman of the Long Island State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation commission, said the time is right for shared uses.

"During these awful economic times I think as a commission we should endeavor to open up the beaches for more uses," he said. "There seems to be a need for some of these activities, so we looked at spots that would be safe and practical as well as not upsetting other beach users."
Erwin said he will propose changes at four state parks:
At Heckscher State Park -- the only Long Island state park that allows windsurfing -- paddleboarding, kayaking and canoeing would also be permitted.
At Orient Beach State Park, windsurfing would be allowed. Only kayaking and paddleboarding are currently permitted.
At Wildwood State Park, a pilot program would allow windsurfing only on weekdays during the swimming season to determine if there is a conflict with other park users on the long walkway to the beach.
At Caumsett State Park, a year-old master plan calls for car-top launching of canoes and kayaks once a new parking lot near the beach is constructed. Windsurfing will now be considered in addition to the fishing and scuba diving already permitted.
Ronald Foley, regional director for the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, said his agency would implement the changes -- possibly this season -- if the commission votes to recommend them at its noon meeting at Bethpage State Park.
At Sunken Meadow State Park, where a master plan is being developed to guide future use, "we'll make the question of additional access part of the planning process," Foley said.
Jack Riordan of Brightwaters, spokesman for the beach access group, said, "We appreciate all of the effort of the commissioners and park managers and look forward to working with them to make this access a success."
Fishing groups plan to attend the meeting to protest the proposed changes. Willie Young of Massapequa, a member of the state parks Fishing Advisory Board and president of the New York Coalition for Recreational Fishing, said, "We're against it because windsurfing and fishing are not compatible. It's a danger. Kayaks are OK if they stay out of the way."

Water sports at LI beaches

Increased access for watersports being considered today by Long Island State Park, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commission:
HECKSCHER Allow paddleboarding, kayaking and canoeing.
ORIENT BEACH Allow windsurfing.
WILDWOOD Allow windsurfing weekdays.
CAUMSETT May allow windsurfing.
SUNKEN MEADOW May allow additional watersports as part of new master plan being developed.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Originaly Published in "The Fisherman"

William A. Muller, Ph.D.
183 Oakside Drive
Smithtown, N.Y. 11787

April, 15 2011

Mr. Bryan Erwin, Chairman
Board of Commissioners, L.I. Region
New York State Parks
P.O. Box 247
Babylon, N.Y. 11702

Dear Mr. Erwin;

Last night, April 14, 2011, the Fishing Advisory Board met and I discussed my ongoing concerns about the intense push from the Board of Commissioners to expand the type and amount of access to most, perhaps all, of our Long Island State Parks beaches. I did my best to explain my concerns about recent conversations with Commissioner Dave Bender. He has consistently pushed me to unilaterally support Board access expansion plans. I consistently explained that although I am a member of the FAB and represent a significant numbers of surf fishermen, that other members of the FAB who represent large organizations with thousands of members should hear, in person, about the Board’s intentions. To that end, I invited him to the April FAB meeting to speak with FAB members. He did not attend. Furthermore, I explained carefully that the surf fishing community is against expanding access for a number of activities. I also explained the added difficulties of adding new access to ecologically sensitive parks, such as Caumsett State Park, and to those with high population densities in the western sections of the island.

The FAB understands that the Board of Commissioners has the charge of promoting and advocating for New York State Parks in the Long Island Region. With that concept in mind, FAB members are at a loss to understand why the Board is so intent on expanding access (including still water parks) at a time of fiscal difficulty for Long Island State Parks and when our parks are facing enormous challenges including massive erosion, a vastly reduced Park Police force, and a decaying infrastructure. In this time of crisis we believe that the Board should be using their political influence and their official stature as a Board of Commissioners to secure more funding for our Long Island Parks: for so long jewels in the system, but neglected for decades. It is our opinion that your time and influence would be much better spent securing new governmental and private funding to support our wonderful Long Island State Parks and the dedicated people who run them.
In addition, the FAB has tried to express very real concerns about the non-compatibility of some activities including surfing, wind surfing, kayaks, paddle boards, and sail boarding. There are genuine safety concerns regarding not only beach anglers but also bathers and small boat owners operating in proximity to these proposed new access areas.

We also object to subtle but repeated suggestions that anglers you speak with have no concerns about mixing these activities, and the repeated innuendo that FAB members do not represent mainstream beach anglers. Who are these anglers you speak with? We can’t find them. Perhaps they are casual anglers who seldom fish, or perhaps they are surfers posing as dedicated beach anglers. The thousands of anglers we present, who are members of clubs, organizations, conservation groups, and independents too are universally against expanded access for the non-compatible activities cited supra.
We are also concerned about proposed new access at underdeveloped state parks such as Caumsett. This is a delicately balance ecology with a number of sensitive habitats supporting endangered and declining species. Where could a new parking facility be placed without damaging or risking that ecology? Furthermore, with more people doing more things, where will enforcement come from? Park Police are already stretched beyond the capacity to adequately patrol, protect, and enforce park rules. We are also told there will be NO police academy class in 2011.

Finally, proposed new access will negatively impact the quality of fishing in many locations. Consider Sunken Meadow State Park as an example. Where will access points be established for wind surfers, paddle boards, and sail boarders? Is the intended site in front of the park where people walk, swim, and wade? Perhaps you intend to use the river, then? No, that would be foolish since the river is narrow, shallow, has very fast currents, and often boasts a continuous launching and retrieving of boats. Even without these new activities it is very difficult to navigate in the river. Launching boards, kites, kayaks, and sailboards anywhere at this park would be intrusive on others at best, and unsafe at worst.

Although one can understand a desire to provide reasonable and appropriate access for as many citizens as possible, those two words, reasonable and appropriate, should not be taken lightly. The Board should, it seems to us, begin a dedicated journey to secure a level of funding that properly supports state parks and abandon a pipe dream that would put added fiscal pressure on operations and on an already depleted staff.

Yours truly;

William A. Muller, FAB Founder
William Young, New York Coalition for Recreational Fishing
Barry Schwartz, Montauk Surfcasters Association
Billy Lomnicki, President of L.I.B.B.A.
Fred Golofaro, Long Island Fisherman
Robert Danielson, N.Y. Sportfishing Federation
Mr. Ron Foley, Direction Long Island State Parks Region
Commissioner Dave Bender
Assemblyman   Robert Sweeny
Assemblyman   Joseph Saladino

Saturday, April 30, 2011

We are Watermen

We are Watermen. No disrespect to the great Hawaiian Watermen. But as watermen living on Long Island it is hard to find one group who represents all our interests. We do belong  to many of these other groups. Unfortunately, most of these groups only represent a small part of our interests. They can't represent us; their focus is too narrow. That doesn't make them bad groups; just unable to fully represent our interests.

So we at LIBAG, the Long Island Beach Access Group, work with many different beach groups. 
For example, here are a few of our members at the STRIPER SURF CLUB's  10 TH ANNUAL SPRING CLEAN-UP


We have always attended Senator Owen Johnson's annual Beach Clean Up at Robert Moses State park. This event is well attended by our members who belong to Surfrider, Libba, and the American Littoral Society.

In 2010 we teamed up with LIBBA, the NYS Parks Department, Save The Beach and Surfrider to plant the north side of a  newly created dune at West Gilgo.

We members of LIBAG believe more can be accomplished by working together,with other Beach Groups, than by working against each other. After all we share a common goal: the protection and enjoyment of Long Island's Beaches,  Wetlands, and Estuaries.It's easy to understand if you remember our goal is Greater Access for all.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

2011 Beach Grass Planting

This Winter was a tough one for Gilgo Beach: there were storms, and unfortunately, there was also a great deal of Police action. An unfortunate result, was that the students scheduled to help Save The Beach dot Org with their annual grass planting were unable to attend.

At the request of  Elizabeth Wintenberger, Facility Manager Robert Moses/ Captree State Parks LIBAG was able to help. With less than a weeks notice, LIBAG was able to coordinate a grass planting with Sallie Phillips of Save The Beach dot Org. We marshaled twelve volunteers who along with the good people of Save The Beach planted 10,000 beach grass plugs. This is good work we enjoy doing. And LIBAG believes this is the right thing to do.

Just like last year it was freezing; but unlike last year it was blowing 20 to 30 knots, and we finished before the rain. All the volunteers were in good spirits and honored to work with the NYS Park’s office and the good people of Save The Beach.

Thanks for giving us the opportunity to help.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

State aims to temper dispute over access to LI beaches

State aims to temper dispute over access to LI beaches

State aims to temper dispute over access to LI beaches

Monday November 15, 2010 4:47 PM By Erin Geismar, Newsday

The New York State Department of Parks, with a new chairman at the helm, is taking on a long-running dispute over Long Island beach access.

Members of the Long Island Beach Access Group and the New York State Parks - Fishing Advisory Board filled the seats at the parks department commissioner’s meeting at Belmont Lake State Park on Monday and gave opposing views of the trouble between surfers and anglers at beaches across the Island.

Bill Muller, an advisory board member, complained that surfing and fishing were not compatible activities and that fishermen felt they were being pushed off the beach.

Jack Riordan, of Long Island Beach Access Group, said surfers have been made to feel like “second-class citizens,” and that they deserve equal access to the beach.

It was not the first time the groups have approached the parks department for a solution, but Chairman Bryan Erwin said during his first meeting in the position that it would be his “winter project” to fix the problem.

Erwin asked both groups for a concise list of grievances, and the commissioners voted to form a sub-committee to review the issues and how they might be able to address them.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The beach belongs to everyone

LIBAG is fortunate to work with New York State Park officials, as we continue to connect the Parks to the People.

We wondered why Fishermen and only Fishermen have the exclusive right to many of New York State’s most beautiful beaches. We are taxpayers; and these are public beaches belong to everyone. Don’t they?

Each year thousands of people purchase permits to enjoy NYS’s finest beaches. However at some of these beaches it is prohibited to prohibited to engage in any low-impact, surf-related water sports. 

So the members of LIBAG are honored to work with New York State officials as we continue to implement solutions that encourage more diverse use of this resource.

Some people may argue that 4x4 access could be bad for the the beach, but 4X4 drive-in access to the remote beaches is actually environmentally responsible. Long Island’s Outer Beaches are essentially sand bars. And sand bars are constantly in motion. When you afford access to these beaches via 4X4 you don’t have to build “Hard Structures” like roads, buildings, and sewer systems. Responsible Off Road drivers pack it in, and pack it out [that includes our own waste]. In fact we usually end up removing more from the beach than we came with.

Next let’s talk erosion. Erosion is caused, and exacerbated by hard structures built on the sand. Roads and buildings actually make things worse. Where you can simply close a moving beach due to natural erosion; you must instead engage in a costly losing battle of dredge and fill if you build on a beach.

Plus you can simply close for a limited time, any beach during the times of year that certain birds, turtles, and other wildlife are nesting. When the nesting period is over, you can simply reopen the beach. If you have an investment in Pavilions, Concession Stands, and boardwalks, you are less likely to go the environmental route.

Like many other Long Islanders, we rely on the ocean for our food, fun, and well being.

The members of LIBAG, Surf, Swim, Windsurf, Kayak, Stand Up Paddle-board, Fish, Boogie Board, and just plain old enjoy the magnificent ocean. And we do so 12 months a year; not just in the summer. in many cases we hike, sail or paddle miles in order to access some of these outer beaches.

We initiate, and take part in countless beach cleanups, and Dune Grass Plantings. 

We look forward to our continued work with New York State officials in order to implement solutions that encourage more diverse use of NYS’s Beaches.

 For more information of Long Islands Shore, please see