Rockaway Beach opens this weekend for summer swim season

Pols want aid for Rockaways after big storm
A boogie-boarder at Rockaway Beach. (QNS file photo)

The weather may not be ideal this Memorial Day weekend but Rockaway Beach opens for swimming Saturday, May 29, with lifeguards on duty from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Beach capacity at all eight of the city’s public beaches will not be limited for the upcoming season and face masks will be required in all Parks comfort stations and social distancing precautions should still be followed.

“Summer in New York City is back as we all know it,” Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said. “Reopening our city’s beaches is the excellent news we needed after the tumultuous year we’ve had. Here in Queens, we are proud of our famous Rockaway Beach. I welcome all New Yorkers and visitors.”

This season visitors can indulge in new eateries along the boardwalk, courtesy of Rockaway Beach Bazaar, while enjoying free community events, fitness classes and programming hosted by NYC Parks.

“Rockaway Beach is truly a jewel in the crown that is New York City,” City Councilman Eric Ulrich said. “From the surfing beaches to the wonderful concessions and small businesses, to the amazing boardwalk — it’s truly an ideal place. I look forward to spending many afternoons there this summer as we begin to reopen our great city.”

As part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Atlantic Shoreline Resiliency Project, this summer will also see the continuous development and rehabilitation of stone groin structures along the shoreline.

The new stone groins will provide stabilization for a re-nourished sand beach and dunes and maintain the protective beach profile.

The Army Corps of Engineers will continue to work on a stone groin project during the summer. (Photo courtesy of Mayor’s office)

“Nothing marks the unofficial start of summer in New York City like the opening of our incredible beaches,” Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato said. “I am so proud to represent all of our beaches and boardwalk from Breezy Point to Beach 9th Street, and seeing it back at full capacity marks another significant milestone in our return to pre-pandemic life. While you enjoy our beautiful beaches, please do so under the proper supervision of a lifeguard during their work hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. See you on the boardwalk.”

The Rockaway peninsula was among the borough’s hardest hit by COVID-19, with small businesses, restaurants and bars struggling during the economic shutdown.

“After a tumultuous past 14 months, the people of Queens deserve some much-needed sun and recreation at Rockaway Beach,” Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar said. “Rebuilt after Superstorm Sandy, the Rockaway Boardwalk is a monument to New York resilience. The next chapter of our resilience comes this year, when we return to a beach, mere steps from where ambulances were once lined up carrying COVID patients to St. John’s Hospital.”

Congressman Gregory Meeks also welcomed the return of the summer swim season.

“This summer will be very different from most but this year we will be able to enjoy the warm weather a lot more and a lot safer,” Meeks said. “I look forward to visiting the Rockaway beaches this summer with social distancing guidelines. We’re still not out of the clear yet. I encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated so we can continue to celebrate the summer safely.”