LONG ISLAND (WABC) -- Supervisors across Suffolk County and Nassau County announced Friday a joint-planning effort to reopen some of the areas' beaches and parks as the summer approaches.
The supervisors discussed syncing the timing of beach, park and facilities openings in order to ensure the variation between towns doesn't lead to a surge in crowding at one location due to closure at another.
"We want to make sure there's going to be a summer on Long Island," said Judi Bosworth, Supervisor of the Town of North Hempstead. "Public health needs to be our highest priority."
The supervisors of 13 towns joined the Zoom call led by Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer. They announced a goal of May 18 to issue joint guidelines that are agreed upon by all of the towns.
"We are in this together just six feet apart," said Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter.
The guidelines will be sent to state and county officials for approval.
Supervisors from the following towns attended the call: Babylon, Hempstead, Brookhaven, North Hempstead, East Hampton, Oyster Bay, Huntington, Islip, Riverhead, Shelter Island, Smithtown, Southampton and Southold.
"If we screw this up, and I say that lovingly, if we screw this up to try to enjoy a summer and undo all the great work that we've done that all of the frontline workers and the first responders and the essential workers have done we're going to be in for a really bad fall and winter and that's not," Schaffer said.
Supervisors said the summer on Long Island will look different this year and may entail social distancing and the use of face masks at area beaches and parks. Local police will be used to enforce safety protocols.
"We do want to keep our beaches up and running to the greatest degree possible," said Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman.