If you’ve never visited the natural paradise that is Watch Hill on Fire Island, this is the season to make it happen.

Fire Island National Seashore has just completed a $6 million infrastructure restoration project to the Watch Hill Marina, which was closed to ferry and boat traffic all last year. The repairs were required to address issues caused by superstorm Sandy in 2012.

That, and FINS just announced to a new concessions operator for both Watch Hill and Sailors Haven.

Love Watch Hill and Sailors Haven, Inc. will run the marina, snack bar, restaurant, camp store, and campground at Watch Hill, as well as the marina and snack bar at Sailors Haven.

The new arrangement allows for much expanded food services.

The company’s president, Doug Biviano, also a Bay Shore native, told FINS he, “spent the past 18 summers on an old sailboat with his family at Fire Island,” and is, “eager to share his passion for this place with others.”

Love Watch Hill will also offer a small number of seasonal slips at Watch Hill, and is working to finalize an advanced booking option for both marinas, according to FINS.

(They’re also hiring. Click here for details.)

The marinas open May 18. That’s also the date campers can start camping at Watch Hill.

“We are excited to have both sites up and running this season,” said FINS facilities manager Jim Dunphy, who oversaw the recently completed infrastructure project. “With the opening of Watch Hill we can close the chapter on Hurricane Sandy recovery at Fire Island National Seashore.”

More information on the marina and campground reservation systems will be available soon through LoveFins.com.

IF YOU GO

 Also on May 18, the National Park Service visitor centers and restrooms at Watch Hill and Sailors Haven will be fully operational.  As more details on the concessions services at Watch Hill and Sailors Haven become available, updates will be posted to NPS.gov/FIIS and @FireIslandNPS on Facebook.
Watch Hill is located on the western edge of the Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness, directly across the Great South Bay from Patchogue on Long Island. The Watch Hill Marina opened in 1967 and has 175 public slips, the majority of which accommodate between 10 and 14 foot beams and offer 120 and 208 volt service. There are 23 slips which accommodate 15- to 18- foot beams and offer 208 volt service. For more information, please visit https://www.nps.gov/fiis/planyourvisit/watchhill.htm
Sailors Haven is located adjacent to the globally rare Sunken Forest, across the Great South Bay from Sayville on Long Island. The 45-slip marina can accommodate boats with beams between 10 and 18 feet. All slips have electric and water. For more information, please visit https://www.nps.gov/fiis/planyourvisit/sailorshaven.htm