Today I had a great conversation with Cheryll Huber, Director of Research and Planning for New Yorkers for Parks. Cheryll and I discussed my interest in beach safety and education and she was very interested in my creating resources that could raise the overall awareness and understanding by New Yorkers of these issues.
Initially we talked about Rockaway Beach and how one issue that is quite apparent is that there are different levels of coverage and resources for beaches depending on the region, which is particularly odd considering that they are all maintained by the Parks Department.
She mentioned many great resources for me to look into, some which I knew of and others that I didn't. These included:
Rockaway Waterfront Alliance, Gene Dupont
The Parks Department swim to safety and learn to swim program
The NYC health dept tracks info on beaches swimmable
-safety inspections of beaches
The parks dept goes out and hires lifeguards
The Parks inspection program- regular inspections of beaches
The Surfrider foundation -Doug Parent chair of nyc chapter
We talked about the need for a website that links all of the resources into one user-friendly cohesive site. We also discussed how NYC doesn't have the same kind of beach culture that other coastal cities have, and therefore there is a lack of self awareness and education that a general beach goer should have when they walk onto the beach.
Cheryll said that I can continue to be in touch with her about my research and work.