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Aug 29, 2016

If you frequent Fire Island, you may be inconvenienced for awhile. 

The dual-storm-damaged Watch Hill National Seashore Marina will undergo renovations starting Sept. 12, 2016, and will be closed to private boaters and ferry service through the summer of 2017, according to the National Park Service. To the disappointment of many, the docks will not be reconfigured to allow for more use by larger vessels. Here’s an excerpt from the National Park Service press release:

Fire Island National Seashore Superintendent Chris Soller announced today that work will begin on a $5.4 million project to replace electrical and lighting systems, and adjacent bulkhead and boardwalk at the Watch Hill Marina on Fire Island. The multimillion dollar project, funded by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and National Park Service (NPS) will begin September 12 and is slated for completion by late summer 2017.

"We are working to ensure that this marina is sustainable for years to come," said Fire Island National Seashore Superintendent Chris Soller. The project will replace the existing electrical distribution systems, damaged in 2012 by Hurricane Sandy. Plans call for a new elevated electrical building to be constructed and for the existing conduit, conductors, and pedestals to be replaced. A new bulkhead will be built and composite lumber will be installed over a strengthened substructure on adjacent boardwalks, making the marina more resilient to future storms.

The project will require closure of the Watch Hill Marina to ferry service and private boaters through summer 2017. The visitor center, bathrooms, lifeguarded beach, and tent campground will be closed on September 19 for the remainder of the 2016 season. The marina will remain closed until the project is completed in 2017. However limited visitor services may be available in 2017 depending on the progress of the project. Updates will be posted at:

Since Hurricane Sandy struck Fire Island National Seashore in October, 2012, five recovery projects have been completed in partnership with the FHWA at Fire Island National Seashore. The Watch Hill Marina project is the sixth such project and is funded in part by FHWA and NPS. The FHWA secured funds through Emergency Relief for Federally Owned Lands and the NPS obligated funds through the Hurricane Sandy Relief Supplemental Aid and recreation fees.

Watch Hill is located on the western edge of the Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness, directly across the Great South Bay from Patchogue on Long Island. The Watch Hill Marina opened in 1967 and has 182 slips with 120 and 208 volt service, which accommodate boats with a draft to 5 feet and 8- to 17- foot beam. Of the 182 slips, there are 23 which accommodate 15- to 18- foot beams and offer 208 volt service.