While Lighthouse Beach is part of the Fire Island National Seashore, the access and parking for Lighthouse Beach is via Robert Moses State Park which is run by New York State.

On Sep 16, 2010 representatives from the Long Island Travasuns, Inc., the Opera/Musical Theatre Special Interest Group (O/MTSIG) of The Naturist Society (TNS), and others met with the Director and the Deputy Regional Director of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, Long Island Region; and the Facility Manager of Robert Moses State Park at the Belmont State Park Administration Building.

The meeting was held to clarify beach parking and parkway access issues that impact the users of Lighthouse Beach who park in Robert Moses Field #5.


We were informed by the people responsible for running Robert Moses State Park of the fact that they appreciate that approximately 30%, by their estimation, of those parking in Field #5 of Robert Moses State Park are doing so in order to avail themselves of facilities on the federal property, namely the Lighthouse, and even more often the beach near it, commonly known as Lighthouse Beach, which is one of the most popular clothing-optional beaches in the entire Northeast U.S.  


They are aware of the problems that ensue when access to that parking lot is blocked, due to overcrowding on the State beach side, even if there is still plenty of room on the federal beach side.  


While it was suggested that perhaps the overflow of Field #5 could go into a closed  Field #4, the problem is with staffing at Field #4, and that unless it is fully staffed, with both beach lifeguards as well as attendants, regulations do not permit it to open up. 


The expression that a field “is completely flooded" refers to the beach and not the parking lot.  There had been a misunderstanding of the wording that is used.


We were told that when access to Field #5 is closed because of lack of parking spaces, it usually re-opens within the hour, as people start to leave.  It was suggested that one can go to Field #2, pick up a parking ticket, and enjoy that area for an hour. Before leaving, one can ask an attendant to call field #5 to see if it has re-opened. One can then proceed to Field #5 and not pay an additional fee, even without an Empire Passport.


It was also good to hear that sometimes the Field #5 opens for only 50 or even only 25 cars at a time, until the "turn-around time" is reached when more cars are departing than arriving, and the barricade comes down for the day. 


The opening of an express land for Empire Passports was discussed, but having been previously tried with negative results and more back-up, was not likely to be instituted.


In the future there is a possibility of installing a sign on Ocean Parkway similar to the one on Robert Moses Parkway (south of Montauk Highway) which lists which beach lots are closed. That would give beachgoers some advance notice of the parking situation. That issue needs to be discussed with the Department of Transportation.


The reason that both lanes of traffic on the bridge are not always opened up to exiting traffic from the beach, when there is excessive traffic leaving Fire Island, is a safety issue.  In the late afternoon, traffic coming to the beach  from the Robert Moses Causeway is being diverted to Ocean Parkway, to allow for the possible use of both lanes for exiting from the beach.  Unfortunately there can develop a build-up of traffic trying to get to the beach that creates a back-up. Once the back-up reaches the end of the ramp, and goes on to the parkway, the bridge must go to one lane in each direction to allow traffic to move.  This is to assure safety and to allow access for emergency vehicles at all times.


We appreciate the efforts of the Department of Parks in managing the most heavily used park per acre in the state park system. The information shared with all the participants at the meeting shows what a complex and constantly evolving task managing Robert Moses State Park is.


The officers of the Long Island Travasuns, Inc., would like to thank the New York State Department of Parks and the management of Robert Moses State Park for taking time from their busy schedules to meet with us to discuss these issues.


The Travasuns would like to thank Leonard and Helene of the OMT/SIG of TNS who brought these issues to everyone’s attention, and who facilitated the meeting with  the NY State Park officials.  This meeting opened up lines of communications that will continue to be valuable between the beachgoers and the park officials.

UPDATE: March 10, 2011:   Winter storms have caused extensive beach erosion at Robert Moses Field Five. Half of the sand installed for beach replenishment at the state beach for Summer 2010 has already been washed away. At this time only the state beach area has been damaged. This has not, as of yet, impacted Lighthouse Beach at Fire Island National Seashore, which is adjacent to Robert Moses Field Five Beach.

Here is an update excerpted from Newsday concerning Robert Moses beach erosion as discussed at a NYS Park Meeting and published on March 9 2011:

"The New York State Parks, Long Island Regional Commission held their meeting at the Regional headquarters within Belmont State Park on Monday, March 7, 2011. Commissioners present were Chairman Bryan Erwin, Barbara Bancroft, Herbert Balin, Desmond Ryan and David Bender. .......................

Regional Director Ronald Foley and Deputy Regional Director George Gorman gave status reports. ............................

The erosion this winter at Robert Moses State Park is extensive. Mr. Foley said that 1/2 of the sand replaced at field 5 is already gone. There's still more sand in reserve that they are considering using to build the beach back up. Any additional sand would come from a future U. S. Army Corps of Engineers dredging project of the Fire Island Inlet, but he is not aware of that occurring anytime soon. ................”

Excerpted from: Newsday article which included comments quoted above by Jack Riordan

We will post further updates as they become available.

Please help support the Long Island Travasuns Clothing Optional Beach Etiquette campaign.

You can Volunteer  or make a Contribution

To see the Beach Etiquette: Etiquette

To return to the Lighthouse Beach Status page, click here: Beach Status

                                   Go to START of Lighthouse Beach

For the next page click:   Other Activities

Previous Page                                                              Site Map                                                                      Next Page