“My life is like a stroll on the beach...as near to the edge as I can go.”
— Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
Seabeach amaranth, an annual plant, grows on the dunes of beaches along the Atlantic seaboard. More specifically it grows on barrier islands, which is what Fire Island is.
The very existence of Fire Island Pines depends on the health of the dunes that stand between the relentless sea and the land and the homes of The Pines.
And the health of the dunes depends on the grass that anchors the sand, making it more resistant to erosion.
As of 7.April.1993 seabeach amaranth is listed as threatened.
Each summer since 2004, 20 feet of beach, directly in front of the dunes, have been roped off to protect the nesting and breeding habitats of the Piping Plovers and the Least Terns, birds in danger for their survival.
Although the area is roped off with only simple and flimsy string and light stakes it is the responsibility of beach-goers to be mindful of these areas and respect the boundaries to protect the birds.
Fire Island Pines (FIP) is a very safe place. Crime is almost nonexistent. At most problems are limited to noisy neighbors at unreasonable hours and these complaints are handled by the Suffolk County Police. It is their Marine Bureau that patrols here. Their boat is docked in the harbor; their small guard house is a few yards from the harbor. These boys in blue have several all-wheel drive vehicles that patrol the beach.
A warning to dog owners: you will be ticketed ($25 was the last fine I received in 2000; it is likely to have increased since.) if the cops find you with your dog unleashed on the beach. This is more likely to happen in the high season, June, July & August, when the beach crowded, not that it gets all that crowded.
Dial 9-1-1 for emergencies that threaten life, property or the environment. Call 631-854-8382 for non-emergencies that concern quality of life matters; if you have questions about police services; or if you have information about crimes or other police matters.