Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

June 24, 2006

Wendy Gibson, Catherine Jimenez:

State Parks Commissioner Opens Sandy Island Beach

Ribbon Cutting Celebrates New State Park along Lake Ontario near Oswego

(Albany, NY ... June 24, 2006) New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Bernadette Castro today joined state and local officials in formally opening Sandy Island Beach State Park in Oswego County. The scenic waterfront property along Lake Ontario is the 26th new state park added to New York's award-winning state park system and includes a newly constructed bathhouse, picnic pavilions and a boardwalk.

Sandy Island Beach

"As the warmer weather of the summer season gets underway, Sandy Island Beach State Park is the perfect destination for family fun and waterfront recreation here on Lake Ontario," said Commissioner Castro. "Now with the state park officially open and the addition of patron amenities, we can look forward to years of exceptional public access to the vast shoreline for the community and visitors to the region.

"Thanks to Governor Pataki's vision for enhanced recreation, Sandy Island Beach and this magnificent outdoor heritage will be preserved and maintained for the enjoyment of park patrons well into the future. We are proud to be stewards of such an extraordinary property."

Sandy Island Beach State Park, in the town of Sandy Creek, is a 13-acre, former county park that is part of the Eastern Ontario Dune and Wetland Area, a 17-mile stretch of shoreline which extends from Oswego to Jefferson counties. The park provides a wide array of recreational activities including swimming along the 1,500 feet of waterfront; picnicking among the three acres and two pavilions; bird watching; environmental education programs, walking and a launching spot for paddlers. The area is the only significant freshwater dune site in the northeastern United States. Sand dunes, wetlands, woodlands, creeks and ponds provide a unique habitat for several species of migratory birds and waterfowl.

Senator James W. Wright said, "The scenic beauty of Lake Ontario and the Eastern Ontario dunes make this beach a treasure to be preserved and shared with future generations. I am pleased to have worked with the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and Oswego County to ensure the ongoing viability of this valuable resource."

Assemblyman Will Barclay said, "I am excited to be a part of formally opening Sandy Island Beach State Park. With the summer season upon us, Sandy Island Beach State Park is a beautiful place to spend the day with family and friends. This beach and Oswego County will greatly benefit from being a part of New York State's Parks System."

Russ Johnson, Chairman of the County Legislature said, "All of us in Oswego County are grateful to Commissioner Castro and Governor Pataki for their commitment to preserving this beautiful spot and letting the rest of the world know that it is here for their enjoyment."

Margaret Kastler, Sandy Hook Town Supervisor, said, "Sandy Island Beach State Park offers enjoyment for families including daytime fun and spectacular sunsets along the water. This scenic and protected setting is a favorite destination in the community and will continue to draw even more visitors to the region."

The property, a stretch of white sandy beach, was formerly owned and operated by Oswego County, but the beach property was transferred to State Parks, and operations are now administered through Parks' Central region.

In addition to Sandy Island Beach, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 175 state parks and 35 state historic sites. For more information on any of these recreation areas please call (518) 474-0456 or visit the web site at