Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk

The Daily Plant : Monday, September 22, 2014

Citywide Beach Attendance Grows By More Than 22%

Photo by Malcolm Pinckney

Even with an unusually cool summer, an estimated 18,109,077 people visited NYC Parks beaches and 1,570,342 visited City outdoor pools this summer. Beach visitorship is up by more than 22% from last year (14,826,605), while pool attendance has remained steady. Beaches in every borough saw an influx of visitors, including:

• 90% more people visiting the Bronx’s Orchard Beach (for a total of 1,751,145 visitors)
• 13% more people visiting Brooklyn beaches (including 11,453,890 visitors at Coney Island)
• 25% more people visiting Queens’ Rockaway Beach (4,166,455 total)
• 140% more people (almost 2½ times as many) visiting Staten Island beaches (466,132 total)

“NYC Parks in the summer have something to offer everyone – some flock to the oceanfront for the waves, sand and sun, while others go poolside to hone their swimming skills," said Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “The growing number of visitors at our beaches is proof of NYC Parks' continued commitment to maintaining and improving our facilities. I would like to thank all of the Parks employees who were responsible for this successful season, especially our lifeguards. Lifeguarding is not an easy job, but thanks to their hard work and alertness, every person who swam at our lifeguarded beaches and pools swam safely.”

“The fact that millions of New Yorkers and out-of-towners were able to enjoy New York City’s public beaches and pools during operating hours this summer without any drownings or other tragic incidents is a tribute to the training, vigilance, dedication and hard work of the 1,535 young men and women and their supervisors who patrolled these facilities,” said District Council 37 Local 508 lifeguard union President Peter Stein. “They truly deserve our gratitude and praise.”

At the Citywide Swim Team Championship at Hamilton Fish Pool on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, swimmers from 36 NYC Parks pools all over the city competed in events including butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle as well as a freestyle relay. The team representing Brooklyn pools took first place in the meet, followed by Queens in second place, Manhattan in third, Staten Island in fourth and the Bronx in fifth.

Lap Swimmers got their day in the sun on August 27, at the 32nd annual Lap Swim Awards. This year the top male and female distance swimmers to receive awards were Gary Weeks and Anna Jardine, who logged 132 miles and 115.8 miles (respectively) throughout the season. A total of 10,455 people signed up for the Early Bird and Night Owl lap swim program this season. Swimmers who logged a total of at least 25 miles – comparable to one lap around the island of Manhattan – received Parks’ "25 Mile t-shirt.”

NYC Parks operates and maintains 14 miles of beaches and 55 outdoor pools, open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Parks also operates 12 indoor pools that are open year-round. Membership to recreation centers with these indoor pools is free for anyone under age 18, $25 per year for young adults (18-24) and seniors (62+), and $150 per year for everyone else

NYC Parks also runs free “Learn to Swim” classes offered year-round at pools in all five boroughs. More than 1,000 adults, 18,000 children and nearly 7,000 tots participated this summer alone. For more information on the ongoing program at indoor pools and recreation center membership, or to find an indoor pool and recreation center near you, visit


"A poem is never finished, only abandoned."

Paul Valery
(1871 - 1945)

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