Pheffer Amato Calls for City Council Hearing on Lifeguard Staffing Failure

Rockaway Beach, NY Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Rockaway Beach) announced that she has sent a letter to New York City Council Member Peter Koo, who serves as the Chair of the Parks Committee. She is calling for an immediate City Council hearing to hold the Parks Department accountable for constituents’ concerns on the environment, enforcement, and education.

“After several close calls and tragedies this summer - tragedies that were entirely preventable - it is past time for the Parks Department to be held accountable,” Pheffer Amato said. “The Parks Committee needs to hold a hearing immediately. As we move into September, and even October after the beach season officially ends, families will continue to come to the beach, and we want everyone to stay safe. We must hear the Parks Department’s plan for the rest of the summer, so we can be proactive and avoid these very preventable tragedies.”

"We are grateful to Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato for the immediate focus on water safety, and would welcome this forum with representatives from NYC Parks – and especially representatives for the Lifeguards – given their critical role in implementing practices that bolster safety and sustainability around the beach, with the many important functions it serves,” Bridget Klapinski, President of the Rockaway Beach Civic Association, stated.

“The need for additional lifeguards and lifeguard chairs has been emphasized not only by REMA 4 US, but by other organizations,” Leonor Reina, Executive Director of REMA 4 US, said. “Accountability is in place and action needs to be taken immediately to ensure no more tragedies happen again.”

Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato also has various legislation on the issue of childhood drowning, including a proposed statewide Water Safety Commission (A.7734) and mandating water safety education (A.728) in the public-school curriculum. You can find a copy of the letter sent to Council Member Koo at