NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Starting next month, alcohol will be banned on some federally-owned Fire Island beaches.
The ban will go into effect on Aug. 1 on federal lands in the Town of Islip between the communities of Atlantique and Corneille Estates. Alcohol consumption already is banned on some Town of Islip-owned beaches.
Islip town leaders told CBS 2 partiers got around a booze ban at town beaches by simply walking to bordering federal beaches where alcohol was not prohibited.
The Fire Island National Seashore is making the move because of alcohol-fueled parties on the beach.
“The beach-goers in the Fire Island seashore have abused the beaches, they’ve trashed it and done unthinkable things there in front of the homeowners,” Islip Councilman John Cochrane told CBS 2’s Tony Aiello.
Chief Park Ranger Ronald Michael said the problem has worsened in recent years.
“People coming off the ferry can’t drink on the beaches in the towns, so over the last couple of years they found out that the National Park Service allows alcohol, unless there’s a specific closure stating otherwise, so they’ve kind of found themselves to those two beaches,” Michael told 1010 WINS.
He said the federal beaches can’t handle the 500 to 1,000 visitors that cram in there on the weekends.
“There’s litter that’s being left on the beach, these folks are there and they don’t have anywhere to go to the restroom so they’re actually crossing over the dunes into the communities, they’re going under the houses and relieving themselves on private property,” Michael told 1010 WINS. “There’s dune degradation, it’s affecting the vegetation as well.”
But many Fire Island visitors aren’t cheering on the ban, Aiello reported.
“[If] people want to drink, let them drink,” one man told CBS 2.
“I think people should be respectful of other people, and if they’re drinking out there, clean up their mess and there wouldn’t be this kind of issue,” Chris Thompson said, a visitor from Ft. Meyers, Fla.
Over the next week, rangers will be putting up signs along the restricted beaches to give notice of the new alcohol-free policy. Michael told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall that anyone caught drinking could be arrested and fined.
Drinking is not banned on other federally-owned Fire Island National Seashore beaches.
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