About US

LIGHTHOUSE BEACH MAY LOSE ITS CLOTHING OPTIONAL STATUS IF WE DO NOT TAKE ACTION NOW!

Who Are We?

We are an expanding coalition of individuals and beach user groups who are deeply concerned about the welfare and survival of Lighthouse Beach, one of the premier clothing-optional beaches in the United States, and who are committed to keeping it clothing-optional. We are acting in consultation with, and with the support of, the Naturist Action Committee, the non-profit body that coordinates political action on behalf of clothing optional beaches and the protection of the rights of naturists throughout North America.

What Are The Issues?

The traditionally clothing optional use of Lighthouse Beach at the Fire Island National Seashore (FINS), a unit of the National Park Service (NPS), is currently being threatened with the possibility of either complete closure or a substantial reduction in area and relocation to a far more remote location. According to FINS personnel, the National Park Service may decide to close the beach entirely to nude use or limit it to a small section well past the Fire Island Lighthouse, with limited accessibility (and making access virtually impossible for those of us who may be older or handicapped).

Until about 15 years ago, the entire stretch of Federal beach between Robert Moses State Park [a New York State Park] and Kismet, the westernmost community on Fire Island, was clothing optional, but as a result of a compromise between beach users’ groups and NPS, a “nude-free zone” was created in front of the Lighthouse to provide beach access to non-nude visitors to the Lighthouse.

Despite that compromise, we are told that there are political pressures currently being brought to bear by those in the “textile” (clothing mandatory) community who want to see the remainder of the beach closed to clothing optional use. They would like nothing more than to be able to point to incidents that take place on the beach as a pretext for ending its traditionally clothing optional use.

Now, the Rangers are citing complaints of alleged illegal and inappropriate public behavior at the beach as a reason that the remainder of our beach could be shut down.

What Is Different This Time Around?

We have heard reports of possible impending closures bandied about in the past few years. However, after carefully evaluating the situation in coordination with the Naturist Action Committee, we believe that the danger of the beach’s complete closure or minimization/relocation is far greater than in the past.

Such factors include, among other indicators:

  • (a) the failure this year of NPS to replace critically important signage at the western boardwalk stairway and western beach boundary warning unsuspecting visitors to the Lighthouse of a nude beach ahead, despite our requests that they do so;
  • (b) NPS representatives are now saying they do not need to hold prior public meetings or receive other public input in order to close down the beach;
  • (c) this is the first time we have heard of a partial closure/relocation plan
  • (d) user group representatives have been told by NPS that if the boardwalk access to the beach is washed out once again as it was last winter it will not be replaced with a new stair access but only by a lookout from the top of the dunes (In late August, the newly reconstructed ramp portion of the First Boardwalk stairway had already been damaged by Hurricane Bill. During the October Nor’Easter, the stairway was further undermined and damaged, and the dune behind it suffered significant erosion. See Latest Beach News page for more details.).

Can They Really Do That?

In a word, yes. While Lighthouse Beach has traditionally been a clothing optional beach for many years, its clothing optional status is as fragile as the dunes behind us. Legally, as our beach is a part of the Fire Island National Seashore, we are told that the Superintendent of FINS has the power to decide whether our clothing optional use can continue or will be shut down, as one NPS official put it, “with the stroke of a pen.” For the last 15 years, the negotiated compromise between beach user groups and the NPS has resulted in the current status quo, but now, facing what is being described as political pressure, NPS may attempt to change that.

There have unfortunately been too many cases in recent years of federal and state beaches being shut down to clothing optional use as a result of presure from opponents (see below). One federal example is the former clothing-optional beach on Virginia’s Assateague Island National Seashore, where federal rangers now enforce the local anti-nudity laws. A closer example is the former clothing optional beach at Jacob Riis Park in Queens, NY, part of the NPS-administered Gateway National Recreation Area.

What Is The Current Status?

As of the end of October, we are being told that the decision has not yet been made by the FINS Superintendent, which means there may still be time for us to influence the outcome!

What Can We Do?

SAVELIGHTHOUSEBEACH.ORG is currently arranging for meetings with NPS officials in an effort to avert any such threatened actions. The problem is, that up until now, while there have been many concerned individuals and smaller beach user groups with their own agendas, there has been no single coalition with the unity of purpose and the numbers and support necessary to counter the outside opposition. We need to demonstrate that there are many thousands of responsible beach users who value the current clothing optional status of Lighthouse Beach and do not want that status to be changed!

We are calling upon you, the loyal beach users, to come together as a community and help us take appropriate action. This may involve, among other activities, sending letters and emails to public officials when the time is right, as well as helping at all times to ensure that illegal public behavior at our beach is kept to a minimum by speaking up in the face of overt public displays of behavior inappropriate to our beach. We are also looking to establish a Lighthouse Beach Ambassador Program similar to that run very successfully at Miami’s Haulover Beach, and we need as many of you as possible to volunteer as Lighthouse Beach Ambassadors! (click here for more information)

Clearly, the more visible and unified public support we have behind us, the stronger our position will be on all fronts. Incredibly, NPS representatives have recently expressed the view that the number of users committedly concerned about the status of the beach appears to be no more than a few dozen people. It is our fault that this incorrect perception exists. This is a perception that must be changed!

Our intention at all times is to work as closely as possible with the FINS administration in a spirit of cooperation, support and partnership, to the extent that we are allowed to do so.

We will shortly be posting further details about the problem and possible solutions on this website, as well as keeping you informed about our progress.

What Can I Do Right Now?

In the mean time, we need your help in establishing a visible and palpable presence on Lighthouse Beach and as members of a community committed to the preservation of its clothing optional status.

If you enjoy the freedom of being clothing-free at Lighthouse Beach and are concerned with maintaining our right to clothing optional use of the beach, we call upon you and your family members to immediately become members (separately please, so you can each be counted as individuals) of SaveLighthouseBeach.Org by providing your sign-up information on our signup page. This will enable us to count you as part of the concerned (but formerly silent) majority of beach users who are committed to preserving the clothing optional status of Lighthouse Beach.

Additionally, by signing up and providing your email address we will be able to reach you via email if and when the time becomes appropriate to take further coordinated action such as sending emails and letters, as well as any other steps necessary to maintain our rights to clothing optional beach use.

Please be assured that your personal information will be kept private if you so desire.

Please make sure that all your beach friends know about this issue and sign up as SaveLighthouseBeach.Org members on this website.

WE NEED YOU TO HELP GET THE WORD OUT NOW!

We appreciate your taking a few moments to stand up and be counted among the many who believe that Lighthouse Beach is one of the premier clothing optional beaches in the US, and that it would be a tragedy if this precious resource were to be lost or diminished in any way!signup here

Did You Know?

  • Lighthouse Beach was just named one of the “Top 10 Best Nude Beaches” by AOL Travel!
  • Many of the volunteers who helped construct the boardwalk access from Field 5 going toward the Lighthouse were clothing optional beach users!
  • Following proper Nude Beach etiquette is critical to the continued survival of any clothing optional beach! For a listing of Clothing Optional Beach Etiquette, provided by the Long Island Travasuns, click here
  • In recent years, authorities have closed these formerly legal clothing optional beaches right here in the Northeast:
    • Higbee Beach, New Jersey
    • Moonstone Beach, Rhode Island
    • Jacob Riis Park, Queens, New York
    • Tobay Beach, Long Island, New York
  • Other beaches, such as San Onofre Beach in California, are currently struggling to maintain their clothing optional status!
    Learn more at naturistaction.org
    Learn more at sfgate.com
    (Breaking News: On October 22, naturists lost a major battle in the California Supreme Court over San Onofre. Details here and here.)
  • According to a recent Roper Poll of voting age Americans, more than 55 million Americans have participated in skinny-dipping or nude sunbathing in mixed company. Seventy-four percent of American adults believe that people who enjoy nude sunbathing should be able to do so, without interference from officials, at a beach that is accepted for that purpose.
    Learn more at nudebeachesyes.org
    Naturist Education Foundation, 2006 Roper Poll
    PDF of 2006 Roper Poll
  • The Naturist Action Committee (NAC), the non-profit political adjunct to The Naturist Society (TNS), is a grass roots organization that relies on the involvement and participation of individual naturists and groups at local levels. It is the oldest, most successful and most respected organization in North America devoted exclusively to the advancement and protection of the rights of naturists.
    Learn more at naturistaction.org

For More Information

For more information about Clothing Optional Beach use in the US, please click on the following links:

The Naturist Society
Naturist Action Committee
Naturist Education Foundation
Nude Beaches Yes!