What is meant by public access?
The ability to visit a public park or natural area for legal recreational pursuits. But not all public access is equal. Some public land managers restrict access to local residence by requiring a permit or charging fees. There are many parks and protected open spaces on Long Island, with rare exception, they are open to foot traffic, without a permit. These lands are usually open to vehicle or pedestrian traffic visitation during the off season as well. Special disability permits are also available. But public access can also refer to public buildings and beach access below the high tide mark. But public access can also mean being empowered to have a voice in the decisions being made about public access rights.
What about beaches?
Long Island, as an island that is a long one, has miles and miles of beach front. Yet many of these beaches are restricted to the public access. Even lands that aren't private, but that are publicly purchased open spaces have limited beach access. Residents rely on private, homeowner associations, village, town, county, and federal lands for beach access (each one has varying access requirements). Maintaining enough public access to Long Island's beaches, and coastal shorelines for walking, swimming, fishing, boating is a concern of Long Islanders and well as to our tourism economy. In New York you can walk along any beach front, as long as you stay below the high tide mark. This is your public access right.