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Swimming extended at 4 Long Island beaches

Robert Moses State Park Field 5 is seen

Robert Moses State Park Field 5 is seen on Aug. 6. Credit: Daniel Goodrich

Four Long Island state parks are keeping lifeguards on duty through Sept. 16, said George Gorman, Long Island deputy regional director for the state parks.

The added days for swimming, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, are at Montauk’s Hither Hills; Kings Park’s Sunken Meadow; Babylon’s Robert Moses at Fields 2 and 5; and Wantagh’s Jones Beach at Field 6, he said.

Also at Jones Beach, swimming will be allowed at the West Bathhouse on Saturday and Sunday. Lifeguards will also be on duty at the Central Mall through Sunday, and on Sept. 15 and 16.

The swimming season has been lengthened at Long Island state parks for the past several years, as summerlike temperatures linger past Labor Day. The parks department has enough lifeguards who are retirees, or have yet to start full-time or other seasonal employment, Gorman said Tuesday.

“We stay open into the middle of September because the water temperature is in the mid-70s, and if the air and weather is nice, we still get thousands of people who want to come to the beach and swim,” he said. “So we try to accommodate them, instead of trying to keep them out of the water.”

The spray pad at Jones Beach, which opened this summer, will stay open even longer. Families can come from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily, through Columbus Day, Gorman said. The holiday falls on Oct. 8 this year.

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