Health Department offers new text alert service to beachgoers

The Health Department has launched a new mobile service to help you get your swim on safely — and just in time for summer.

The agency is urging beachgoers to sign up for its “Know Before You Go” free text alert service, which lets New Yorkers know if beaches are open or closed due to water quality issues.

Those signed up can also receive text alerts on beach weather conditions or other general warnings.

To sign up, simply text “BEACH” or “PLAYA” to 877877 to get the status of any of the eight public beaches in the city, including Brooklyn’s own Manhattan Beach and Coney Island.

“Every year, millions of New Yorkers and tourists flock to the city’s beaches for fun and recreation,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett. “The ‘Know Before You Go’ texting service is a useful tool to keep track of water quality conditions and plan ahead. By signing up, you can ensure that your trip to the beach is free from health or safety risks.”

“For decades, our public beaches have provided New Yorkers with a safe and healthy way to beat the summer heat,” added NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver. “Now, you can stay even cooler with ‘Know Before You Go’ by getting status updates and beach closure notices sent right to your phone – before you even head out the door.”

For more information on beaches and water quality information, visit

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