SANDY HOOK, NJ - Parking fees at two areas within Gateway National Recreation Area will increase beginning this summer. The increases have been approved by National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis, following a public comment period last summer and fall.

“The public spoke and Gateway listened,” said Superintendent Linda Canzanelli. The parking fee increases at Sandy Hook in Monmouth County, New Jersey are half of what was originally proposed last summer. “These modest fee increases will help the park maintain visitor services while keeping outdoor recreation affordable for working families. A season pass costs about the same as a night at the movies for a family of four, but it buys you a whole summer of fun at the beach.”

Daily parking fees at the beach areas of Gateway’s Sandy Hook Unit will increase from $10 per vehicle to $15 per vehicle. Vehicles over 20’ in length will pay $30. Season parking passes will increase from $50 to $75 per vehicle, while oversized vehicle passes will now cost $150. Fees will be charged until 5 P.M. This is the first parking fee increase at Sandy Hook since 2001 and the fourth since parking fees were first established by Gateway in 1983.

At Jacob Riis Park in Queens, daily parking fees will increase from $5 to $10, with oversized vehicles to be charged $20 per day. Season parking passes will now cost $65 for most vehicles and $130 for oversized vehicles.

Fees will be charged until 6 P.M. This is the first parking fee increase at Jacob Riis Park since 2004.

The new parking fees compare favorably with state and local beaches near both Sandy Hook and Jacob Riis Park, where the charge is usually per person rather than per vehicle. As in the past, daily parking passes will be good for the day of purchase only.

Since this is a parking fee rather than an entrance fee, it is still free of charge to visit non-beach areas. This includes access to the Sandy Hook Lighthouse and Fort Hancock, Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island and Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens.

Holders of the federal Senior Pass or Access Pass receive a 50% discount on parking fees.

Parking fees collected by Gateway have paid for hundreds of improvement projects at Sandy Hook, Jacob Riis Park and areas throughout Gateway. Here is a sample.

      Operations: Lifeguards, visitor protection, maintenance of visitor


      Expanding the docking facility at Sandy Hook.

      Rehabilitation of campgrounds at Floyd Bennett Field.

      Shoreline monitoring at Sandy Hook.

      Rehabilitation of the Ryan Visitor Center at Floyd Bennett Field.

      Paving the Multi-Use Path at Sandy Hook.

      Repairing the Boardwalk railing at Jacob Riis Park.

      Sand Slurry beach replenishment at Sandy Hook.

      Kayaking and sailing public programs.

      Rehabilitation of Frank Charles Park in Queens.

Season parking passes will be available for purchase at Sandy Hook beginning Monday, April 16 and at Jacob Riis Park beginning the weekend before Memorial Day.

About Gateway National Recreation Area

Established in 1972, Gateway National Recreation Area offers more than

26,000 acres of marshes, wildlife sanctuaries and recreational athletic facilities, miles of sandy beaches; indoor and outdoor classrooms; picnicking and camping areas, as well as historic structures and military installations, airfields, a lighthouse, and adjacent waters around New York harbor. The park offers urban residents in two states a wide range of recreational opportunities year round. With more than nine million visitors a year, it is the third most visited national park in the country. For information about Gateway's upcoming public programs, see the park's Web site at