Fire Island National Seashore, Long Island, NY
875 acres


Robert Moses Causeway to several parking field (for more than 5,000 cars). Only Field 2 is open all year.


This park is the westernmost area of Fire Island.


1693 -- the area of Fire Island that is now Robert Moses State Park was part of a land grant to William Smith by the English Crown.

1825 -- lighthouse built at the western tip of the island.

1865 -- the lighthouse built. (It replaced the 1825 light house.)

1908 -- it became Fire Island State Park, Long Island's first state park.

1938 -- a devastating hurricane in 1938, a new 875-acre Fire Island State Park with five miles of ocean beach was created.

1964 -- the new Robert Moses bridge spans Fire Island Inlet.

Robert Moses was Long Island State Parks' first commissioner and the man responsible for the creation of Jones Beach and many of Long Island's highways.

(Cynthia Blair, Newsday Names of Long Island;

May 31, 1986

One Torreyite joined the field trip leader on a hot dry May morning to observe the vegetation of Robert Moses State park, Fire island, New York.

Ammophila breviligulata was the most common plant on the primary dune. Other primary dune associates included Artemisia stellariana, Lathyrus maritima, and Solidago sempervirens.

We walked east to the board walk constructed by the National Park Service in 1985 and observed the above species and Hudsonia tomentosa, Lechea maritima, Prunus maritima, Rhus radicans, Myrica pensylvanica, Rosa rugosa, Panicum virgatum, Panicum sp., and the Artemisia caudatum in the swale behind the primary dune.

Our next stop was a bog southwest of the Fire island Light. Here were observed Vaccinium macrocarpon, Ptilimnion capillaceum, Drosera intermedia, Lycopodium inundatum var. Bigelovii and several additional species. This bog is a sea of pink in late August when Sabatia stellaris is in bloom. Thousands of Polygala cruciata also grow here, but like Sabatia, are best observed when in flower in late summer.

We traveled along the board walk north of the road and observed Thelypteris palustris, Phragmites australis, Viola lanceolata and other species in boggy areas. Dry areas were populated by Lyonia sp., Vaccinium corymbosum, Aronia spp., Ilex opaca, Pinus rigida and an occasional Juniperus virginiana. Was pleased to find Honkenia peploides growing in the wrack line of the bay along with Bassia hirsuta. I observed H peploides at Democrat Point, Fire island in 1985, but could not find it elsewhere. Just east of the lighthouse we observed Sisyrinchium atlanticum in flower. Mosquitoes were only a problem in the wettest areas, their scarcity a reflection of the dry weather Fire island has experienced this May.

Attendance was 2, leader Richard Stalter.