by John Skinner
As many here know, the Cupsogue beach pavilion burned to the ground on the night of September 13. As many here also know, this sad event is irrelevant to the many surfcasters who use the beach and the inlet access road for fishing. Nonetheless, the park has been closed entirely since the fire. When I asked why a few days after the fire I was told "It's a crime scene." I agree, but the crime I'm thinking of is locking taxpaying, permit buying residents out of the park. Many of us only use the outer beach aspect of the park to get to Moriches Inlet, and we don't go anywhere near the pavilion, or where it once stood.
I called the County Parks Department and was told "It's closed, that's all we know." I then asked to be transferred to the person responsible for the decision. I was happily transferred to the office of the Parks Commissioner, Greg Dawson. The person answering his phone said the commissioner is "on vacation". That person knew nothing about Cupsogue, but thought he knew someone who did. After a brief period on hold, I was told the potentially knowledgeable party was not available. My name and phone number were taken, but I was not called back. At least I was still given more accurate information than The County's website, which said the following for Cupsogue: "Access to the Outer beach is open to the inlet.". How difficult is it to get this stuff right?
Next call - my Suffolk County Legislator, Albert Krupski. His assistant was very helpful. She found someone who had fielded a similar call days earlier and was able to find an email from 9/24 from the parks commissioner stating that the park would remain closed until all of the debris was removed, and that they were expecting that to happen in about a week. We'll see.
In the meantime, anyone interested in Cupsogue access, or those not wanting displaced Cupsogue anglers where they're fishing, should contact the Suffolk County Parks Department at 631-854-4949 and ask why we still can't drive through the parking lot to get to the inlet and how much longer will we be locked out of a beach that we all own and pay for with our taxes and permits.