Ocean Drive, Wantagh, Nassau County, NY
2,413 acres


Take the Long island Expressway to exit 44 south (NY 135/Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway) for 7 miles. Go west on Southern State Parkway for 1.5 miles to exit 27S (Wantagh parkway/Jones Beach State Park.)


1692 -- Irish immigrant Major Thomas Jones was a privateer who used his ill-gotten gains to purchase 6,000 acres in the vicinity of the now Jones Beach.

1700 -- Jones built a whaling station here.

1713 -- Jones dies. The place became known as Jones Beach even before his death.

1929 -- the park opens, another creation by Robert Moses.

Today the beach attracts 8 million visitors a year.

(Cynthia Blair, Newsday Names of Long Island;


Just 39 miles from midtown, Jones Beach has a two-mile boardwalk, four miles of bike paths, swimming pools near the East and West Bath Houses, a snack bar and even a senior citizen's lounge. An outdoor summertime concert series showcases top national acts, with the Atlantic as backdrop. The western side of the beach is designated for surfers.


Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven)
Ilex opaca (American holly)
Pinus thunbergii (Japanese black pine)

Shrubs or sub-shrubs:
Baccharis halimifolia (groundsel tree) 11/25/01 *
Hudsonia tomentosa (beech heather) lots of it
Myrica pensylvanica (bayberry)
Prunus maritima (beach plum)
Rosa rugosa (wrinkled rose) 7/17/94

Parthenocissus virginiana (Virginia creeper)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)

Achillea millefolium (yarrow)
Alyssum alyssoides (sweet alyssum) 11/25/01*
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asclepias sp. (milkweed)
Cakile edentula (sea rocket)
Capsella bursa-pastoris (shepherd's purse) 11/25/01 *
Centaurea sp. (black knapweed?) 7/17/94
Chamaesyce polygonifolia (seaside spurge) 11/25/01 *
Cycloloma atriplicifolium (winged pigweed)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace)
Draba verna (whitlow grass) 4/25/93
Erigeron sp. (fleabane) 7/17/94
Erodium cicutarium (stork's bill) 4/25/93 11/25/01*
Euphorbia cyparissias (cypress spurge) 4/25/93
Galinsoga quadriradiata (enchanter's nightshade)
Heterotheca subaxillaris (camphorweed) 7/17/94
Hypochaeris radicata (cat's ear) 11/25/01 *
Lamium purpureum (purple dead nettle)
Lathyrus maritima (beach pea)
Lepidium virginicum (poor man's pepper) 11/25/01 *
Leucanthemum japonicum (Montauk daisy) 11/25/01 *
Limonium nashii (sea lavender)
Linaria vulgaris (butter-and-eggs) 7/17/94
Malva neglecta (common mallow) 11/25/01 *
Oenothera biennis (evening primrose) remnant?
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed) 7/17/94
Polygonum arenastrum (knotweed) 11/25/01 *
Potentilla sp. (cinquefoil) 7/17/94
Salicornia sp. (glasswort)
Sedum sp. (sedum)
Silene vulgaris (bladder campion)
Solidago sempervirens (seaside goldenrod) 11/25/01 *
Spergularia rubra (red sand spurry) 11/25/01 *
Trifolium repens (white clover) 11/25/01 *
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein) 7/17/94
Vicia cracca (cow vetch) 4/25/93
(hairy rockcress) 4/25/93
(mock bishopsweed) 7/17/94
(saltmarsh bulrush?) -- lots
(sea pink) 7/17/94

Ammophila breviligulata (beach grass)
Anthoxanthum odoratum (sweet vernal grass)
Bromus? (brome grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)
Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem grass)
Spartina alterniflora (salt marsh cordgrass)

Cladonia cristatella (British soldiers)

* (found by Andrew Greller) (LIBS Newsletter, Jan-March 2002)

Steve Young found that the swales at Jones Beach had become unproductive because of Phragmites australis invasion.    (LIBS Newsletter, Winter 2004, Vol. 14, No. 1. )