The Long Island Advance did a nice job of putting the story together about how the new live cameras came about. It was a little more complicated than I expected but a lucky email to Surfline and the cooperation of Kristin Downs and Cory Black of the Casino Cafe and Davis Park Casino Bar made it happen. Below is reprinted courtesy of the Long Island Advance.
Local installs cameras and live-streams Davis Park
Brookhaven hamlet native Michael Busch, of Great South Bay Images and fireislandandbeyond.com, recently had three cameras installed at Davis Park on Fire Island and has been live-streaming it on his website ever since. The cameras went live on Fourth of July weekend.
Originally, he said, he began trying to set up his own camera but was quickly discouraged when he came across the Internet connection hurdle while trying to live-stream. But then, after reaching out to Surfline — a California-based company that provides live surf reports and forecasts, — on a whim, he was surprised to find that the camera operations manager lived on Long Island and already followed Busch’s photography.
Dennis Murphy of Surfline wrote back stating that they had been looking for new camera locations to fill geographical gaps in their coverage. He said that last year they added Westhampton but were still left with a large gap on Fire Island.
The live cameras were installed on top of the Davis Park Casino cupola, one of the highest points on Fire Island, offering a unique and beautiful vantage point with views to the ocean, bay and beach. Kristin Downs, general manager of the Casino Café and Casino Bar, said they are happy to have the cameras and feel that not only will it draw more people to the beach, but will also serve as a good resource during winter storms.
“Sometimes the weather is not so great in Patchogue but beautiful over here,” she said.
“We have a marina, beach and surf cam,” Busch explained. “The entire beach is covered and films all day. You can see the ferry coming, check the weather and even see if slips are available to dock your boat.”
In addition to weather forecasting and surf predictions, the cameras have also offered a sense of security as well as crime deterrence. Footage can be time lapsed; four days are saved on the site and up to 30 days are collected on Surfline’s end.
“Just after we put the cameras up, someone graffitied the lifeguard stand and we gave screenshots to the police,” he said. “It has been really helpful already.”
And, if none of that appeals to you, he said, the cameras simply offer beautiful views at home. “I want people to watch and have their coffee with it in the morning,” he added.
Below are a few highlight videos recorded by the cameras.