SOUTH BEACH — The city's beaches will officially open for swimming on Saturday.
The Parks Department kicked the summer off with an opening ceremony at Staten Island's South Beach and in Rockaway Beach.
New Yorkers will be able to swim at the city's 14 miles of beaches from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Labor Day weekend.
"Every summer millions of people visit our public beaches to cool off, to go for a swim and to enjoy New York's waterfront," Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver said in Staten Island.
"This is where traditions are started, where memories are created."
State Sen. Diane Savino also issued a "public service announcement" aimed at New Yorkers who walk their dogs along the Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk.
"Please clean up after your dogs," Savino said. "Part of the morning workout should not be hopping over piles of dog waste."
South Beach had more than 300,000 visitors last summer and the Parks Department expects the number to grow this year, Silver said.
In Rockaway Beach, Silver reminded people of the dangers of swimming in the Atlantic Ocean, especially when lifeguards are not on duty.
The message was particularly poignant given the drowning of an 18-year-old boy Wednesday after he went for a swim on an unguarded beach.
"We want everybody to enjoy the beautiful sun and surf here in Rockaway but most importantly we want you to be safe in and around open water," Silver said, calling the city's lifeguards "heroes and sheroes" for watching the beach.
Rockaway Beach — the city's longest — saw nearly eight million visitors last year, he said.
While the city had promised to have all of the new boardwalk completed by Memorial Day, a section from Beach 108th to Beach 126th streets will not open until July due to construction limitations.
Silver said the administration is committed to "pushing forward work" to get it open as soon as possible.