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Alcohol ban on parts of Fire Island goes into effect

Jacqueline Skubik, of Brightwaters, makes a quick exit

Jacqueline Skubik, of Brightwaters, makes a quick exit from her boat into the water in Atlantique, Fire Island, on July 5, 2013. Starting next Friday, the National Park Service will prohibit alcohol on federal lands between the Town of Islip communities of Atlantique and Corneille Estates, officials said Thursday, July 24, 2014. Credit: Newsday / Daniel Goodrich

An alcohol ban goes into effect Friday on sections of the beach along Fire Island National Seashore, just west of Ocean Beach.

The federal government is prohibiting alcohol consumption on two 300-foot-wide stretches of national seashore between the Islip communities of Atlantique, Robbins Rest and Corneille Estates/Summer Club.

Drinking is already prohibited on town beaches, so weekend partyers often flock to the nearby national seashore to avoid fines up to $225.

After the ban was announced last week, some beachgoers said they understood why the federal government was instituting it: largely to cut down on parties that leave beaches in disarray and littered with garbage.

"It's completely understandable that they do this, because there's trash all over the beach," said Jack Strang, 26, of Manhattan, who was lounging with friends on one of the national park beaches last Saturday afternoon.

He said the pristine nature of Fire Island's beaches is the reason they go there and not somewhere closer to Manhattan, like Coney Island.

But Strang and his friends aren't convinced alcohol is the problem.

"They should regulate littering rather than regulating drinking," said Laura Patterson, 28, of Manhattan.

Patterson and Strang said they always bring a trash bag to clean up after themselves -- and others.

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