Paddle Out Protest


In tradition, surfers mourn the loss of one of their own by holding a paddle out. On Saturday, June 17, they did just that, but this paddle out was for the beaches that are now closed, and more than mourning, the event was more of a way to bring awareness to the issue itself and call for immediate action.

There have been many protests since the Parks Department announced the closures of Beach 91st through Beach 102nd due to safety concerns caused by erosion, from a mock funeral that interrupted the city’s official beach opening ceremony, to a rally at City Hall, but Saturday’s protest, spearheaded by Beth and Keone Singlehurst of the Rockaway Militia and the Rockaway Beach Civic Association, put eyes on the water as dozens took to surfboards, paddleboards, kayaks and other floatation devices to send a message—Protect Our Beaches with Sand and Jetties, and Open Them NOW.