Dunes and beach at Fire Island, New York
Fire Island is a 50-km long barrier island along the south shore of Long Island, NY. The island is comprised of seventeen year-round communities; federal, state, and county parks; and supports distinct ecosystems alongside areas of economic and cultural value. In addition to providing resources to its residents, the barrier island also protects the heavily-populated mainland from storm waves. Sound scientific understanding of the interplay of natural processes and human activities is required to successfully manage coastal resources at Fire Island to achieve the optimum balance in benefits to public safety, the economy, and the environment. To this end, USGS coastal research utilizes an integrated approach to measure long- and short-term changes to the Fire Island barrier island system, including open ocean/marine, nearshore, barrier island, and estuarine environments.