Legislation Introduced to Allow Dogs in ALL New York State Parks including Beaches

Photo Credit: Joann Garguola

Contact Your NYS Senator and Assemblymember NOW to Support/Co-Sponsor S.4993 in the Senate and A.6244 in the Assembly!

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Check out recent media coverage:

Newsday, Dog Ban on Long Island’s State Beaches Could be Lifted Under Proposed Legislation

CBS NewsNY, Legislation Moving Through Albany to Allow Dogs to have State Park Beach Access

In a big step towards lifting the ban on dogs on New York State beaches on Long Island, New York State Senator Monica Martinez, the former Deputy LI Regional Director of NYS Parks and now NYS Senator from Brentwood, has introduced S.4993–a bill to allow dogs in ALL NY State Parks, including beaches! New York Assemblyman Steve Stern from Dix Hills, who has worked with LI-DOG since 2021 to lift the ban on dogs on NYS LI beaches, swiftly followed suit by introducing A.6244 in the NYS Assembly.

Specifically, the bill says:  “Dogs shall be allowed in all New York State Parks…including but not limited to trails and beaches.”

The next few weeks are critical to getting this legislation passed in both the Senate and Assembly. Email or call your NYS Senator and NYS Assemblymember today!

The New York State Office of Parks manages 14,000 acres of Long Island parks with shoreline access yet prohibits ALL access to beaches on Long Island to people with dogs. Denying access to so much recreational space to dog owners who pay taxes that support this public parkland is unacceptable.

New Yorkers want change. LI-DOG launched a petition to Lift the Dog Ban on New York’s Long Island Beaches in 2021. The petition has more than 6,700 signers, but we need more! If you haven’t already signed our petition, sign it today!

It is important to note the bill protects sensitive wildlife areas and gives the Parks Commissioner the authority to restrict access to swimming beaches, playgrounds and other areas typically set off-limits to dogs. In other words, the Commissioner still has the power to restrict dogs from beaches where people sunbathe and swim. However, NYS parks cover thousands of acres of shoreline and trails that are appropriate for people with dogs.

The law requires:

  • Owners to pick up after their dogs and properly dispose of waste.
  • New York State parks to install clean up stations including garbage cans and biodegradable waste bags.
  • All dogs be under the control of their owners and that they be leashed at all times, unless a state park designates a specific unleashed area (such as the new dog run at Belmont Lake State Park).

In addition, as is common throughout New York State, dog owners are responsible for any damage or harm caused by their dogs. To read the bill, go NYS Legislative Information. Type in: S04993, that’s S, zero, 4993.

NY State elected officials must work to lift the ban on dogs on Long Island beaches. Denying access to this major public recreational resource to so many people who own dogs and pay taxes that support this public land is unacceptable. Let New Yorkers bring their dogs to the beach!

What You Can Do: Email or Call Your NYS Senator and NYS Assemblymember TODAY!

Key points to communicate to elected officials:

  • Please co-sponsor S.4993 (for your Senator) and A.6244 (for your Assemblymember), which will allow dogs in ALL NYS parks including beaches.
  • People with dogs support public parks through their taxes, but are banned from all beaches in NYS public parks on LI.
  • Access to public parks is a basic right and need. It’s not right to cut off access to so much public land to so many people.
  • The bill protects endangered wildlife and the power of the Parks Commissioner to restrict dogs from bathing beaches, playgrounds and other areas typically set off-limits to dogs.
  • Support for this common-sense bill will make a big positive change in the quality of life of thousands of New Yorkers.
  • It’s time for New York State to catch up with other areas around the country from Maine to Florida and Washington State to California that have found ways to accommodate people with dogs on their beaches!

Make sure to let all your dog-loving friends and family in New York State know about the bill and ask them to contact their NYS Senator and their NYS Assemblymember to co-sponsor and support S.4993 in the Senate and A.6244 in the Assembly.

In addition, if you haven’t already signed our petition to Lift the Ban on Dogs on New York State Beaches on Long Island, sign it NOW and urge all your dog-loving friends and family in New York to sign, too! Don’t forget to leave a comment. Comments from people are a powerful way to strengthen our message to elected officials.

Also, make sure to share our posts on social media including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the hashtags #DogFriendlyLIBeaches, #LIDogFriendlyBeaches, and #timeforaccess.

Remember: The next few weeks are critical. Email or Call Your NYS Senator and your NYS Assemblymember TODAY!

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