The drones will reach beach communities on Long Island and New York City.
Governor Kathy Hochul announced Friday that dozens of new shark-tracking drones will be sent to coastal towns in New York amid a surge in incidents.
According to Dan Keefe, a spokesman for New York’s Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the program will provide up to $1 million to purchase about 42 drones and help train staff to use them. use them. About half of the money will go to Long Island beaches, and the other half will be split between New York City and Westchester County area beaches.
Keefe said the office is working to obtain and distribute the drones “as soon as possible,” but he could not confirm when the program would be operational.
Hochul’s announcement comes after five shark bites were reported on Long Island during the July 4 holiday weekend.
“This clearly shows that what we are looking at could be the new normal,” Steve Bellone, CEO of Suffolk County, told reporters.
New York state agencies have stepped up surveillance in response to attacks this week, Hochul said Friday.
The governor said the new drones would build on enhanced shark safety measures at Long Island State Park beaches announced in May, including many employees be more trained; new jet skis; and more buffer zones between swimming and fishing areas.
Last year, of the 41 confirmed unprovoked shark bites in the US, eight were in New York, according to the Florida Museum of Natural History.
Click here for tips on how to stay safe from sharks.
Peter Charalambous of ABC News contributed to this report.