Kathy Hochul, has announced the deployment of new shark-monitoring drones to several local beach communities across Long Island and New York City. This comes as a further step towards ensuring beachgoers' safety at State beaches, following previously taken actions by the State. In addition, she revealed that the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, alongside the Department of Environmental Conservation, have increased their surveillance efforts in response to several shark sightings over the Fourth of July holiday. This is in line with new shark safety protocols established earlier this year.
Governor Hochul expressed her commitment to keeping New Yorkers safe this summer. As such, new tools and strategies have been developed and implemented to monitor marine wildlife and safeguard the health and safety of beachgoers. The newly deployed drones will significantly enhance the shark monitoring capabilities of local governments across Long Island and New York City, ultimately ensuring that local beaches remain safe for everyone.
As part of the State Parks' efforts, new drones will be distributed to municipalities located along the Long Island coastline and New York City. This move is intended to boost the localities' shark monitoring efforts since most of them do not have drone surveillance capabilities. Furthermore, the State Parks will provide funding to train local personnel to operate the drones. Before the summer season began, the State Parks held a pre-season meeting with beachfront municipalities and agencies to discuss the latest information on shark activity, as well as coordinate beachfront notifications. The Department of Environmental Conservation has also released guidelines aimed at reducing the risk of negative interactions with sharks. In the event of shark sightings or interactions with swimmers, swimming is suspended, and all bathers are cleared from the water until at least one hour after the last sighting. The Long Island Coastal Awareness Group is also notified to take appropriate action in their respective jurisdictions.
To ensure beachgoers' safety, State Park lifeguards, Park Police, and staff are on high alert and continuously patrol the waters for shark activity. Governor Hochul has announced enhanced shark monitoring measures for Long Island State Park beaches, including additional drones, Yamaha WaveRunners, and staff training. The Department of Environmental Conservation advises beachgoers to follow shark safety guidelines such as avoiding areas with seals and murky water, swimming in groups, and staying close to shore. While it is impossible to eliminate risk altogether, modifying behavior can minimize potential interactions with sharks and reduce overall risk. Overall, these measures aim to ensure that New Yorkers can enjoy the beautiful beaches safely.