WNY state beaches to recruit lifeguards, prepare for busy summer season

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Summer is right around the corner and pretty soon crowds will be looking to cool off at one of several state beaches in Western New York. 

“We are looking forward to a smooth summer so visitors can come and just have a safe recreational experience,” said Andrew Chouinard who works in the NYS Parks Safety Department. “That’s what we’re most looking forward to.”

Popular places to go for a swim this summer include Beaver Island, Woodlawn, Evangola and Fort Niagara State Parks. 

Park officials say they see an increase in visitors to state parks each year. They anticipate this summer to be just as busy. 

“If last year is telling at all, every year seems to get more and more busy,” Chouinard said. “We’re trying to match that with the same amount of lifeguards.”

The state is currently recruiting lifeguards to man the beaches this summer. Chouinard said they are looking to fill positions at Woodlawn and Evangola beaches. He says while lifeguards do their job, he’s reminding people to follow the rules and guidelines and swim only in designated swimming areas. 

“The lifeguards do a really good job being the backup but even under lifeguard supervision it is possible to miss things. The other most important thing is to stay within that designated swim area. If you’re going outside the buoy line, you’re outside the designated swim area,” he said. 

Chouinard recommends visitors download the NYS parks app when planning their day at any of the parks. 

“If you want to plan a day at the park, what I would do is check the state parks app, you can download it on the app store,” he said. “What’s really cool about that, specifically to beaches, is you can see what amenities are available here, you can see if we have food, if we have picnic areas, playgrounds, you can map out your hike. More importantly you know what you’re getting into.”

If you’re interested in working for New York State Parks as a lifeguard, you can click here for more information.

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Sarah Minkewicz is an Emmy-nominated reporter and Buffalo native who has been a part of the News 4 team since 2019. Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahMinkewicz and click here to see more of her work.

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