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Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
No. 50
www.nyc.gov/parks

NYC PARKS LAUNCHES FREE SUNSCREEN PILOT AT CITY BEACHES

Summertime is upon us and along with promoting water safety, NYC Parks is ramping up its sun safety efforts, with partners IMPACT Melanoma and Bright Guard, with the launch of a free sunscreen pilot. This summer, for the first time ever, NYC Parks is installing sunscreen dispensers, 100 donated by its partners, to dispense 1,000 liters of free sunscreen at beaches in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. With dispensers installed at locations along the city’s 14 mile beachfront, New Yorkers can protect themselves from long hours in the sun by easily applying the provided SPF 30 sunscreen.

“Millions flock to our beaches each summer; spending hours under the sun, recharging on our city’s glorious shoreline,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “While being watersafe, enjoying the recreational activities and righting their minds, Parks also wants New Yorkers to be sun safe. We are excited to partner with IMPACT Melanoma and Bright Guard on this pilot program to provide free sunscreen to beach goers this summer, furthering their ability to protect their skin while on the go.”

“We are thrilled to expand on our highly successful program across the country and continue to offer sunscreen units for public and private distribution throughout the country, NYC is an exciting place for us to bring sunscreen,” said Deb Girard, Executive Director, IMPACT Melanoma. “We hope sunscreen dispensers will become as commonplace as hand sanitizers over the next few years.”

Bright Guard CEO Ryan Warren said: “We’re dedicated to making it easier for people to prioritize their skincare in the sun. We’ve all at one point forgotten to pack sunscreen, or the bottle ran out, or we simply couldn’t afford to buy it. With these dispensers, we are increasing access to sunscreen and, by offering it at no cost, are encouraging people to take advantage of this amenity. Sun safety should be a right and not a privilege.”

June 2016, New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer advocated for free sunscreen distribution in City parks and beaches to aid in combatting the national average of one in five who are diagnosed with some form of skin cancer. Through the research highlighted in the Comptroller’s proposal, the report described successful programs in Miami and Boston, and included recommendations that the City work to implement similar efforts that would benefit sun-loving New Yorkers.

Comptroller Stringer said: “When we first unveiled this proposal last June, we considered this a commonsense, cost-effective way to protect the health of New Yorkers. When we did the research, we looked at cities around the country that had developed cutting edge programs and saw opportunity to help residents across the five boroughs protect themselves. And when we compiled our analysis, we deemed this a straightforward proposal to enhance our world-class beaches and facilities. Today, we’re thrilled that this pilot will become reality. This isn’t just smart public policy designed to improve public health and boost quality of life. It’s the right thing to do for New Yorkers. When you go to the beach, the souvenir you bring home should never be a sunburn.”

“Wearing broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 -- and reapplying it every two hours or after swimming -- is crucial to protect against skin cancer,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “NYC Parks’ free sunscreen effort will make it easier for all of us to apply, and reapply, sunscreen. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat, UV-blocking sunglasses and clothing that covers your arms and legs are also good ways to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays.”

"The small decisions we make every day have an enormous impact on our long-term health." Said Council Member Corey Johnson, Chair of the Health Committee. "Making sunscreen readily available in places where it is needed most ensures that New Yorkers are able to make the best choice for themselves and their children. I want to commend NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver and New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer for pushing for and implementing such a fantastic program."

Sunscreen dispensers will be located at the following city beach locations:

The Bronx

Orchard Beach

Brooklyn

Manhattan Beach

Brighton Beach

Coney Island

  • W. 2nd St.
  • W. 8th St.
  • 16th St.
  • W. 27th St.
  • W. 32nd St.
  • Stillwell Ave.

Queens

Rockaway

  • Beach 9
  • Beach 17
  • Beach 30
  • Beach 59
  • Beach 67
  • Beach 86
  • Beach 97
  • Beach 106
  • Beach 115

Staten Island

South Beach

Ocean Breeze Fishing Pier

Midland Beach

Cedar Grove Beach

Wolfe’s Pond Beach

Randall’s Island Park Alliance successfully piloted free sunscreen dispensing on Randall’s Island during summer 2016. Utilizing 24 dispensers, free sunscreen was available at ball fields, the playground, Icahn Stadium and at comfort stations.

New York City beaches open this Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday, May 27. They are open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Labor Day Weekend.

Summer 2017 marks the full completion of the three-year project to rebuild the Rockaway Boardwalk after the original was destroyed in Hurricane Sandy. The new boardwalk sets a global standard for resilient shoreline design, while providing the Rockaway community with a beautiful, functional beachfront. In addition to being NYC’s largest swimming beach and home to the city’s only designated surfing areas, Rockaway is also known for its varied food concessions along the boardwalk.

For NYC Parks’ beach schedule, water safety tips and more, please visit www.nyc.gov/parks or call 311.

About IMPACT Melanoma

IMPACT is a national non-profit organization dedicated to working to reduce the incidence of melanoma. Committed to skin cancer prevention and early detection, we provide a variety of award-winning programs which aim to raise awareness and educate the public about skin cancer, as well as support services for those struggling with the disease.

About Bright Guard

Bright Guard was created to provide convenient access to sunscreen in all of the places we live, work and play in an effort to reduce the risks and effects of sun exposure. Bright Guard works with foundations, governments, parks & recreation departments, and other organizations like its nonprofit partner Impact Melanoma, to provide water resistant, hands-free sunscreen dispensers in places from public pools and beaches, to parks and sports stadiums, to municipal buildings, hospitals, schools, and beyond, so that people can have free, safe and effective sunscreen every time they are outside. In summer 2017, Bright Guard is greatly expanding its reach, including launching eighty dispensers in New York City, including at all public beaches. For more information, or to connect directly with the Bright Guard team, visit www.brightguard.com.

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