Jones Beach State Park has been named as a potential...

Jones Beach State Park has been named as a potential site for the Shinnecock's casino. The notion of a casino in the stunning oceanfront park is roundly criticized by advocates who see the park as all but sacred ground. (June 25, 2005) Credit: Newsday /Daniel Goodrich

A nonprofit group formed two years ago to reverse the deterioration of original design features that made Jones Beach State Park so groundbreaking is planning its first fundraiser for its first project: restoring the slate mosaics at the Central Mall.

Restoration of the mosaics depicting a map of Long Island, sea horses, a lobster and an anchor is expected to cost more than $200,000, but that will be determined by a $25,000 feasibility study.

The state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is preparing to award a contract for the study, with some of the money coming from the Jones Beach Rescue Organization.

To start raising the funds for its portion of the study cost and all of the restoration, the group is holding a World @ Jones Beach: A Mosaic of Summer digital photo contest that will wrap up at an End of the Summer Party Fundraiser at the West Bathhouse on Sept. 25.

"We thought this might be a fun way of engaging the public," said Alexandra Wolfe, preservation specialist for the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities, which helped set up the new support group.

Details of the contest for photos taken at the park this summer are posted at jonesbeachrescue.org. Winning photos will be highlighted on the website. The deadline for submissions is Sept. 5.

The party will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased at NYCharities.org.

Scott Fish, regional parks engineer, said the agency already has a consulting agreement with Stantec Architectural of Hauppauge for other restoration work at Jones Beach, so it will get the mural study and restoration contracts. A subcontractor specializing in murals, Jablonski Buildings Conservation, will do the actual restoration.

Fish said "they will study the materials that were originally used, how they were constructed" and determine what is the best material to be used to restore them. The slate tended to delaminate "so we want to go with something that's a little more durable. They may come up with the slate that's harder."

George Gorman Jr., deputy regional director for state parks, said about $20,000 remaining from a $100,000 Citibank donation for Jones Beach projects will be used for the study, with the rest of the money coming from the new organization.

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