NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Go to the WikiTravel page for Fire Island, and you’ll see a lot of detailed descriptions of celebrated nude beaches.
Lighthouse Beach features one of the most “one of the most popular nude beaches in the U.S. A mix of straight and gay, singles and couples and some families,” the site says. And in Kismet, there is an official nude beach with a big sign ‘Beyond This Point You May Encounter Nude Sunbathers.’”
But this summer, that guide will be rendered obsolete. Fire Island National Seashore authorities will start enforcing laws banning the decades-long practice of nude sunbathing on the 32-mile-long barrier island off Long Island this summer.
As CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, the small strip of sand known as Pristine Beach, just east of Robert Moses Field 5, is located near a bird sanctuary where families stroll.
The ban will be enforced there, as well as four other Fire Island beaches where nude sunbathing is known to take place, according to Newsday.
“I have kids,” said Winnie Schaeffer, a Fire Island beachgoer. ”I wouldn’t want them stumbling upon somebody naked out on the beach.”
Added beachgoer Everett Harris, “I don’t believe in nude beaches myself. I think it’s probably bad for the children.”
Fire Island chief ranger Lena Koschmann said the nude beaches have grown in popularity, and there has been an increase in complaints and observations of sex, masturbation and prostitution, especially on the popular Lighthouse Beach.
Fire Island has six field rangers on staff, who said with 32 miles of beach to patrol, they have been stuck most summer days at the nude beach answering complaints.
“To have school groups, and family groups and tour groups coming to the lighthouse and stumbling upon nudity right there, this is what we call incompatible uses,” Koschmann said.