Plenty of Staten Islanders were enjoying the beautiful beach weather Tuesday as the city Parks Department officially opened the summer season. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.
Some sunbathers on Staten Island didn't waste any time hitting the sand Tuesday and were camped out on the shore with their blankets and chairs by late morning.
"It's like the perfect day to have the new opening for the beach," said one beach goer.
On the boardwalk, the city Parks Department held an opening ceremony for Staten Island's beach season. The lifeguards will be on duty starting Saturday.
"I hope you all come out to enjoy the waterfront now that we finally have some nice weather," said Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver.
The Parks Department has been working feverishly all winter to get the beaches ready for summer. Since Sandy, thousands of feet of protective berms have been installed and beach grass has been planted. New elevated modulars have also been built to house comfort stations and lifeguard offices.
"Everything that we're building or rebuilding is going to be sustainable. So whether that means elevating the height of the actual facility or elevating the utility so that they are safe from any flooding," said Staten Island Parks Commissioner Adena Long.
The Parks Department is also planning to open an amusement park in Midland Beach this weekend with rides geared for small children.
"Every ride is a family ride where adults can ride with their kids or grandparents can ride with their grandchildren," said Ami Abrason of New York Carousel.
New York Carousel has signed a temporary lease with the city to operate the amusement park this summer. The Parks Department says it will likely put a bid out for a permanent amusement park in the future.
Meantime, the only beaches not open this weekend will be Cedar Grove Beach and Wolf's Pond Park. Both were open to sunbathers last summer but electrical and plumbing issues will keep them shut for at least another couple of weeks.