Watch CBS News

New York State Senators Urge Cuomo To Safely Reopen Beaches By Summer

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Calls are growing for beaches to reopen in New York State.

With 80-degree temperatures and Memorial Day around the corner, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is feeling the heat to open beaches.

"You're gonna say it's a reopening. People are gonna say hallelujah, run out of their house. They're gonna want to get out, they're gonna want to do things," the governor said Thursday.

No doubt one of those things will be hitting the shores.

RELATED STORY: NJ Beaches Open For Memorial Day Weekend Under New Coronavirus Safety Guidelines

With New Jersey leading the way, how long before Long Island can follow suit?

"We want our beaches open. We believe it can be done safely, both for swimmers and for people on the beach so it's not a viral breeding ground," Sen. Todd Kaminsky said.

Kaminsky joined a group of eight other bipartisan state senators representing the Long Island oceanfront communities, writing a letter to Cuomo urging him to come up with a plan to open up beaches quickly.

"What is that magic approach? What do you see as a compromise that the governor might say, OK, that sounds safe to me, let's reopen Memorial Day?" CBS2's Dick Brennan asked.

"There has been talk about beaches at 50% capacity," Kaminsky said. "That means people manning parking lots and people standing on the Long Beach boardwalk, counting how many people go on beaches."

Another idea is to open a few beaches now and more later.

RELATED STORY: Long Island Officials Working Together On Summer Beach Procedures To Avoid Coronavirus Spread

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut were supposed to be coordinating on reopening, but apparently they are not all on the same page.

So what happened to regional coordination?

"Regionalism is really kind of a joke," said democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf.

He says New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is taking a risk opening up.

"He's gotta show that things are kind of getting back to normal. Gov. Cuomo, well, he's opened up part of the state. He's opened up the parts of the state that are less packed with people, so only the data afterwards will show who's right or who's wrong," Sheinkopf said.

Cuomo's office says it is working with neighboring states to address reopening, and state senators say they are hopeful a plan can be hashed out to open New York's beaches, perhaps in early June.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.