Ten new drones will be deployed this summer, more than doubling the state’s shark detection capacity.

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced measures to protect beachgoers from sharks this summer at Long Island State Park beaches. The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Police will increase surveillance along Long Island State Park beaches, including drone, boat and helicopter surveillance.These measures are based on Governor’s actions to address and enhance beachgoer safety With the increase in shark sightings last summer.

“New Yorkers and visitors are ready to enjoy our beautiful Long Island beaches all summer long, and their safety is our top priority,” Governor Hochul said. “This year, we will take further action to protect beachgoers by stepping up surveillance to monitor shark activity near South Shore beaches. I encourage all New Yorkers to listen to local authorities, follow guidance and take precautions to stay safe and responsible. beach trip this summer.”

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) held a preseason meeting with waterfront municipalities and local agencies in April to provide an update on shark activity in New York State and to discuss coordinated waterfront notifications. If a shark is likely to be spotted, State Park Police and Department of Environmental Conservation police will coordinate patrols as required by a particular park.

New York State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, “Operations on the South Shore of Long Island will allow us to see both the sky and the shoreline. Over the past two seasons, we have learned that drones are the most effective mechanism for detecting environmental conditions that may be attributed to shark activity. We are expanding drone activity and boat patrols to help prevent the rare negative interactions between sharks and swimmers, surfers, surf fishermen and boaters on our beaches.”

New York State Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Basil Seggos said“New York’s beaches and shorelines are part of a wild and natural marine ecosystem. Sharks are an important part of this ecosystem and they play a vital role in maintaining a healthy and balanced ocean. Human interactions with sharks are A relatively rare event in New York, however, all beachgoers should follow DEC’s Shark Safety Guidelines to minimize the risk of negative interactions with sharks.”

New York State Police Acting Superintendent Steven Greyley said, “New York State Police stands ready to assist our partners in keeping beachgoers and our waters safe this season. In the event of a sighting or accident, NYSP Aviation stands ready to provide prompt support as needed.”

Expanded surveillance capabilities at state parks this summer include:

  • An additional ten drones would more than double the eight currently in operation

  • One of the new drones assigned to Park Police is a large corporate drone with thermal imaging, laser ranging and high-quality cameras for nighttime surveillance and patrolling in adverse weather conditions.The drone could also drop a personal flotation device in an emergency

  • Currently, 21 staff members, including park police, state park operators, lifeguards and certified drone operators, have been trained.12 additional staff will be trained ahead of the 4th of July holiday weekend

  • State Park Environmental Educators Host Public Awareness Events About Shark Habitat This Summer at Jones Beach, Robert Moses and Sunken Meadows

  • Two new Yamaha WaveRunners have been assigned to lifeguards patrolling Jones Beach and Robert Moses State Park.The two private vessels will be combined with one already operating at Sunken Meadow State Park

  • An additional buffer zone will be created between the swimming area and the surf fishing area

  • When sightings occur, NYS Police Aviation will respond as needed

shark sighting reaction

Following confirmed shark sightings near State Park beaches, the following actions will be taken:

  • Swimming suspended after sighting

  • Swimming can resume at least one hour after the last sighting

  • All sightings are referred to the Long Island Shore Awareness Team, a group of more than 200 people from municipalities, agencies and private beach operators stretching from Queens to Long Island

  • State park lifeguards constantly scan and patrol the waters for shark activity

To minimize the risk of interacting with sharks, the Department of Conservation recommends the following Shark Safety Guide:

  • avoid areas with stamps

  • Avoid areas with schools of fish, splashing fish or diving seabirds

  • avoid swimming at dusk, night and dawn

  • avoid muddy water

  • Group swimming, paddling and surfing

  • Stay close to the shore where your feet can touch the bottom

  • Always follow the directions of lifeguards and park staff

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