Visitors to Suffolk County parks and golf courses can once again take advantage of free sunscreen, thanks to an extension of a summertime program launched by the county and Catholic Health Services in 2019.
The organization has donated about $5,000 to cover the cost of new dispensers and sunscreen at 20 county parks, including Cedar Point County Park in East Hampton, Montauk County Park, the Shinnecock Canal Marina, Cupsogue County Park in Westhampton Beach, Meschutt Beach County Park in Hampton Bays, and Indian Island Park and Golf Course in Riverhead.
The goal of the program is to reduce beachgoers' risk of UV exposure and skin cancer. According to Catholic Health Services, melanoma is the second most common form of cancer among young people aged 15 to 29, and instances of the disease are rising.
The free sunscreen provided in this program is SPF 30, which blocks about 97 percent of UV rays, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.
"Spending the day visiting our beaches and county parks in the summer is a way of life here on Long Island, but it is critical that we remain aware of the dangers that the sun poses to our health," Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said in an announcement on Monday. "I want to thank Catholic Health for their continued efforts to keep the residents of Suffolk County safe by ensuring everyone has access to sunscreen while enjoying some fun in the sun."