Sandy Hook
Sandy Hook
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Sandy Hook
Sandy Hook is a barrier spit in Middletown Township, Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States. The barrier spit, approximately 6 miles (9.7 km) in length

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This article is about a geographical landform in New Jersey. For the mass shooting, see Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. For other uses, see Sandy Hook (disambiguation). Sandy Hook, New Jersey Sandy Hook seen from an airplane (looking west) on its approach to JFK Sandy HookCoordinates 40°27′11″N 73°59′42″W / 40.4530°N 73.9950°W / 40.4530; -73.9950Coordinates: 40°27′11″N 73°59′42″W / 40.4530°N 73.9950°W / 40.4530; -73.9950Offshore water bodies Atlantic Ocean .mw-parser-output span.small-text{font-size:85%}(to the east)
Shrewsbury River (to the west)Elevation 7 feet (2 m)[1]Length 6 miles (9.7 km)Width 0.1 to 1.0 mile (0.16 to 1.61 km)Area 2,044 acres (827 ha)Depth 250 to 300 feet (76 to 91 m)[2]Formed by Wisconsin glaciation periodAge Last Glacial Maximum ("LGM"; ≈25,000 years old)Operator National Park ServiceDesignation Barrier spit Sandy Hook, part of the Gateway National Recreation Area

Sandy Hook is a barrier spit in Middletown Township,[3] Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States. The barrier spit, approximately 6 miles (9.7 km) in length and varying from 0.1 to 1.0 mile (0.16 to 1.61 km) wide, is located at the north end of the Jersey Shore. It encloses the southern entrance of Lower New York Bay south of New York City, protecting it from the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean to the east. The Dutch called the area "Sant Hoek", with the English "Hook" deriving from the Dutch "Hoek" (corner, angle), meaning "spit of land".[4]

Most of Sandy Hook is currently owned and managed by the National Park Service as the Sandy Hook Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area.

  • 1 Description
  • 2 Military history
  • 3 Tourism and recreation
  • 4 Transportation
  • 5 Climate
  • 6 Gallery
  • 7 See also
  • 8 References
  • 9 External links
Description Sandy Hook as seen from the top of Navesink Twin Lights, Highlands, New Jersey

Geologically, Sandy Hook is a large sand spit or barrier spit, the extension of a barrier peninsula along the coast of New Jersey, separated from the mainland by the estuary of the Shrewsbury River. On its western side, the peninsula encloses Sandy Hook Bay, a triangular arm of Raritan Bay. The 2,044-acre (8.27 km2) peninsula was discovered by Henry Hudson,[5] and, historically, Sandy Hook has been a convenient anchorage for ships before proceeding into Upper New York Harbor.

Sandy Hook is part of Middletown Township, although not contiguous with the rest of the Township. Because the peninsula is a federal reservation, this technicality is essentially moot. The community of Highlands overlooks the southern part of the hook.

Sandy Hook is owned by the federal government. Most of it is managed by the National Park Service as the Sandy Hook Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area. The eastern shoreline consists of public beaches: North Beach, Gunnison Beach, and South Beach. The southern part of the spit consists of public beaches, fishing areas, and the SeaGull's Nest, a seafood restaurant operated by a concessionaire. The peninsula's ocean-facing beaches are considered among the finest in New Jersey and are a popular destination for recreation in summer when seasonal ferries[6] bring beachgoers. Gunnison Beach is one of the largest clothing optional beaches on the East Coast.[7][8]

There is a vocational school that was located at the tip of Sandy Hook called M.A.S.T. or The Marine Academy of Science and Technology. The school was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and rebuilt the subsequent year.

Sandy Hook Lighthouse is located within the fort grounds, as is the Marine Academy of Science and Technology (MAST), a magnet high school, part of the Monmouth County Vocational School District. At the entrance to Fort Hancock is Guardian Park, a plaza dominated by two Nike missiles. Some of the buildings of Fort Hancock are off-limits because their structural integrity is dubious. A controversial proposal was recently accepted to allow adaptive reuse of some of the buildings in Fort Hancock for private profit, but the developer was unable to obtain financing.

Military history

The defunct U.S. Army post Fort Hancock at the north end of the peninsula is open to the public. The Sandy Hook Proving Ground was used by for many years—beginning after the Civil War until 1919, when the facility was moved to Aberdeen, Maryland—and was later the site of a Nike missile defense installation. The Sandy Hook Nike station is one of a very few stations that are still intact. Almost all of the fort's gun batteries are off limits to the public due to their hazardous condition. The exceptions to this are Battery Potter and Battery Gunnison. Battery Potter is open frequently for tours on the weekends, as well as Battery Gunnison which is being restored by volunteers and has two six-inch (152 mm) M1900 guns installed; the weapons were placed there in 1976. Guided tours show visitors a Nike missile, the missile firing platforms, and a radar station with 1960s-era computers. A Civil War-era 20-inch Rodman gun is also in the park; this was an experimental gun that was the largest type produced by either side of that war.

North of Fort Hancock on the western part of the "hook" is an active station of the United States Coast Guard. This is one of the original Life Saving Stations built in 1848 at a site "on bay side, one-half mile south of point of Hook." The site was changed several times through the years due to a change in land or at the request of the War Department, which owned the land.[9] This area is administered by the Department of Homeland Security and is off-limits to the general public.

Tourism and recreation

The beaches along the Atlantic shore of Sandy Hook—North Beach, Gunnison Beach and South Beach—feature parking lots, lifeguards, rest rooms and snack bars, and do not permit animals until after Labor Day. Gunnison is clothing optional.[5] In contrast, the western shore includes vast acres of sand and trails without life guards or rest rooms. These stretches are favored by cyclists and kite surfers, and leashed dogs are permitted.

Accommodations near Sandy Hook include bed and breakfasts such as the Sandy Hook Cottage and Seascape Manor, as well as Grand Lady by the Sea, and Nauvoo at Sandy Hook, which are all located in Highlands. Dining options have changed drastically since Superstorm Sandy, which destroyed the island's only eating location, the Sea Gulls' Nest Deck Restaurant. On the island itself, various food trucks can be found and nearby off-island is the landmark Bahr's Landing, Moby's and Something Fishy.[5]

Local activities include the Sandy Hook All Woman Lifeguard Tournament in July, boat rentals for fishing, parties and tours, and trails for biking, rollerblading, and walking. The Henry Hudson Trail, which stretches nine miles (14 km) from Aberdeen to Atlantic Highlands and is wheelchair accessible.[5]


The only road that connects to Sandy Hook is Route 36. A road through the peninsula branches from Route 36 at the northern end of Sea Bright. The Highlands-Sea Bright Bridge crosses the Shrewsbury River and carries the road traffic of Route 36 from Highlands in the west to Sea Bright in the east, at the entrance to Sandy Hook.

A bicycle path parallels the motor road. SeaStreak and American Princess Cruises ferries serve Sandy Hook from Manhattan in summertime.[5][10][11]


1981 - 2010 monthly climatic averages for Sandy Hook Beach, Monmouth County, New Jersey. Elevation 5 feet. Humid subtropical climate (Cfa).

Sandy Hook Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Ann Avg High Temp 39 °F 42 °F 49 °F 58 °F 68 °F 78 °F 83 °F 82 °F 75 °F 64 °F 54 °F 44 °F 61 °F Avg Low Temp 26 °F 28 °F 34 °F 43 °F 53 °F 62 °F 68 °F 68 °F 61 °F 50 °F 41 °F 32 °F 47 °F Avg Dew Point 23 °F 24 °F 29 °F 38 °F 49 °F 60 °F 65 °F 65 °F 59 °F 47 °F 38 °F 28 °F 44 °F Avg Precip 3.4" 2.6" 3.7" 4.0" 3.7" 3.9" 4.6" 4.0" 3.6" 3.7" 3.4" 3.8" 44.4" Estimated Average Seasonal Snowfall (Nov - Apr) ≈ 20"

Dew Point / Humidity Chart

Dew Point Humidity ≥ 75 °F Extreme 70 °F - 74 °F High 65 °F - 69 °F Moderate 60 °F - 64 °F Slight ≤ 59 °F Comfortable Gallery See also
  • Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey
  • Fort Hancock, New Jersey
  • Gateway National Recreation Area
  • Sandy Hook Light
  • Sandy Hook Pilots
  • Sandy Hook Proving Ground
  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Sandy Hook
  2. ^ "Coreholes Reveal Glacial and Postglacial History at Sandy Hook" (PDF). Unearthing New Jersey. Trenton, NJ: New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. 11 (1): 3. 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2016. 
  3. ^ Greenfield, Beth (5 August 2005). "Sandy Hook, So Close to Manhattan, So Far Away in Spirit". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 September 2016. 
  4. ^ "The Atlantic World: Dutch Place Names / De Atlantische Wereld: Plaatsnamen". Dutch Place Names. Library of Congress. Retrieved 4 September 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Rounds, Kate, ed. (2010). "The Shore Next Door". Palisade - Hoboken & Beyond. Hudson Reporter Assoc., LP. 4 (3): 38–39. Retrieved 4 September 2016. 
  6. ^ "Sea Streak". Sea Streak. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  7. ^ Trebay, Guy (September 2, 2001). "All Undressed and So Many Places to Go". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-08-21. Crowds are also increasing these final summer days at Blacks Beach near San Diego, at Mazo Beach on the lower Wisconsin River and at Gunnison Beach in Sandy Hook, New Jersey, a dress optional sand strip run by the National Park Service that was recently deemed by the Clean Beaches Council, an environmental group, one of the top 10 beaches in the United States. 
  8. ^ Flam, Faye. "Clothing optional may not be way of historical human", The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 17, 2006. Accessed June 17, 2007. "Sandy Hook boasts the biggest nude beach along the Atlantic. The clothing-optional part is called Gunnison Beach ...."
  9. ^ "Station Sandy Hook, New Jersey" (PDF). U.S. Coast Guard History Program. United States Coast. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  10. ^ "Sea Streak". Sea Streak. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  11. ^ "American Princess Cruises". Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
External links Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sandy Hook, New Jersey.
  • Sandy Hook Visitor Information
  • National Park Service Gateway National Recreation Area
  • Nike Missile Site NY-56
Preceded by
Northernmost Beaches of New Jersey Succeeded by
  • v
  • t
  • e
Municipalities and communities of Monmouth County, New Jersey, United StatesCounty seat: Freehold BoroughCities
  • Asbury Park
  • Long Branch
  • Allenhurst
  • Allentown
  • Atlantic Highlands
  • Avon-by-the-Sea
  • Belmar
  • Bradley Beach
  • Brielle
  • Deal
  • Eatontown
  • Englishtown
  • Fair Haven
  • Farmingdale
  • Freehold Borough
  • Highlands
  • Interlaken
  • Keansburg
  • Keyport
  • Lake Como
  • Little Silver
  • Manasquan
  • Matawan
  • Monmouth Beach
  • Neptune City
  • Oceanport
  • Red Bank
  • Roosevelt
  • Rumson
  • Sea Bright
  • Sea Girt
  • Shrewsbury
  • Spring Lake
  • Spring Lake Heights
  • Tinton Falls
  • Union Beach
  • West Long Branch
  • Aberdeen
  • Colts Neck
  • Freehold
  • Hazlet
  • Holmdel
  • Howell
  • Manalapan
  • Marlboro
  • Middletown
  • Millstone
  • Neptune
  • Ocean
  • Shrewsbury
  • Upper Freehold
  • Wall
  • Loch Arbour
  • Allenwood
  • Belford
  • Cliffwood Beach
  • East Freehold
  • Fairview
  • Leonardo
  • Lincroft
  • Morganville
  • Navesink
  • North Middletown
  • Oakhurst
  • Ocean Grove
  • Port Monmouth
  • Ramtown
  • Robertsville
  • Shark River Hills
  • Strathmore
  • Wanamassa
  • West Belmar
  • West Freehold
  • Yorketown
  • Adelphia
  • Algers Mills
  • Allaire
  • Ardena
  • Ardmore Estates
  • Arneytown
  • Baileys Corner
  • Bairdsville
  • Beacon Hill
  • Bergen Mills
  • Bergerville
  • Blansingburg
  • Bradevelt
  • Bradley Park
  • Branchport
  • Bucks Mill
  • Burlington Heights
  • Candlewood
  • Carmerville
  • Carrs Corner
  • Carrs Tavern
  • Centerville
  • Chapel Hill
  • Charleston Springs
  • Clarks Mills
  • Clarksburg
  • Claytons Corner
  • Cliffwood
  • Cold Indian Springs
  • Collingwood Park
  • Cooks Mills
  • Cooleys Corner
  • Coxs Corner
  • Crawford Corners
  • Cream Ridge
  • Deal Park
  • Dogs Corners
  • East Keansburg
  • East Long Branch
  • Elberon
  • Elberon Park
  • Ellisdale
  • Elton
  • Ely
  • Elys Corner
  • Emleys Hill
  • Everett
  • Fair Play
  • Fairfield
  • Fort Plains
  • Freewood Acres
  • Freneau
  • Galilee
  • Georgia
  • Glendola
  • Gordons Corner
  • Green Grove
  • Hamilton
  • Harmony
  • Hendrickson Corners
  • Henningers Mills
  • Herberts Corner
  • Hillsdale
  • Hilton
  • Hockhockson
  • Holland
  • Holmeson
  • Homes Mills
  • Hornerstown
  • Imlaystown
  • Jerseyville
  • Kirbys Mills
  • Lafayette Mills
  • Lake Club
  • Land of Pines
  • Larrabees
  • Leonardville
  • Little Silver Point
  • Locust
  • Low Moor
  • Lower Squankum
  • Macedonia
  • Manasquan Park
  • Marlboro
  • Matthews
  • Maxim
  • Mechanicsville
  • Millhurst
  • Monmouth Heights at Manalapan
  • Monmouth Heights at Marlboro
  • Monmouth Hills
  • Montrose
  • Morrells Corner
  • Mount Pleasant
  • Natco
  • Navesink Beach
  • Nelsonville
  • New Bedford
  • New Canton
  • New Monmouth
  • New Sharon
  • Normandie
  • North Centerville
  • North Long Branch
  • North Spring Lake
  • Oak Glen
  • Oak Hill
  • Oakhurst Manor
  • Oakland Mills
  • Oceanic
  • Orchard Estates
  • Osbornes Mills
  • Parkway Pines
  • Perrineville
  • Phalanx
  • Philips Mills
  • Pine Brook
  • Pleasant Valley
  • Pleasant Valley Crossroads
  • Polhemustown
  • Port-au-peck
  • Prospertown
  • Pullentown
  • Red Hill
  • Red Valley
  • Reevytown
  • Remsen Mills
  • River Plaza
  • Robinsville
  • Salem Hill
  • Sands Point
  • Scobeyville
  • Shacks Corner
  • Sharon
  • Shrewsbury (Upper Freehold)
  • Siloam
  • Smithburg
  • Smocks Corner
  • Southard
  • Spring Mill
  • Spring Valley
  • Squankum
  • Sterling Woods
  • Stone Church
  • Stone Tavern
  • Stonehurst East
  • Stonehurst West
  • Sweetman
  • Taylors Mills
  • Tennent
  • Tiltons Corner
  • Town Brook
  • Van Marters Corner
  • Vanderburg
  • Villa Park
  • Walnford
  • Waterloo
  • Waterwitch
  • Wayside
  • Wertheins Corner
  • West Allenhurst
  • West Deal
  • West End
  • West Farms
  • West Grove
  • West Keansburg
  • West Shrewsbury
  • Whitesville
  • Whittier Oaks
  • Wickatunk
  • Wileys Corner
  • Winston Park
  • Wyckoff Mills

Newtown: An American Tragedy
Newtown: An American Tragedy
A journalist for The Daily News (New York) offers a “meticulous account of the Newtown massacre and its aftermath.…it’s been a year, and this harrowing book might be a reminder that the debate needs reviving” (Kirkus Reviews).The world mourned the devastating shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012. We remember the numbers: twenty children and six adults, murdered in a place of nurture and trust. We remember the names: teachers like Victoria Soto, who lost her life protecting her students. A shooter named Adam Lanza. And we remember the questions: outraged conjecture instantly monopolized the worldwide response to the tragedy—while the truth went missing. Here is the definitive journalistic account of Newtown, an essential examination of the facts—not only of that horrific day but the perfect storm of mental instability and obsession that preceded it and, in the aftermath of unspeakable heartbreak, the controversy that continues to play out on the national stage. Drawn from previously undisclosed emails, police reports, and in-depth interviews, Newtown: An American Tragedy breaks through a miasma of misinformation to present the comprehensive story that must be told—today—if we are to prevent another American tragedy in the days to come.

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An Unseen Angel: A Mother's Story of Faith, Hope, and Healing After Sandy Hook
An Unseen Angel: A Mother's Story of Faith, Hope, and Healing After Sandy Hook
As the mother of one of the children who died at Sandy Hook school in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012, Alissa Parker had her world shattered by a mass murderer's rampage. She was left to make sense of her daughter's life and death and to rebuild, seeking a deeply spiritual path to carry on with her life and find new meaning and purpose. As a co-founder of, a touring national advocacy group that helps people take action to make schools safer, Alissa has talked to hundreds of parents around the country about her ordeal and how she was able to endure the unspeakable horror of Sandy Hook.An Unseen Angel takes readers though Alissa's complete journey, chronicling the moment-by-moment account of the day that began with every parent's worst nightmare: hearing, "There's been a shooting at your child's school." It follows her faith-filled spiritual path to coping, healing, forgiving, and eventually feeling gratitude for the life and love of her daughter Emilie. She describes a bond of love between a mother and daughter that is so profound it transcends the physical body and touches Alissa and the people who loved Emilie who feel her presence every day. And she articulates her deep Christian faith, which guided the answers to Alissa's gut-wrenching, post-tragedy questioning: "Where is Emilie now?""Can love transcend the physical body?""How can I know that Emilie is in a better place?""How do I deal with the 'here and now' when the pain and anger I feel is so overwhelming?"This is the first book about the school-shooting tragedies with a focus on faith and spirituality. As we learn Alissa's story, we are introduced to a special little girl who was wise beyond her years and whose lessons about life and the transcendent power of love continued even after she had passed away."

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Was Sandy Hook a Hoax?: Hoaxes & Scams
Was Sandy Hook a Hoax?: Hoaxes & Scams
Dr. Leland Benton is Chief Forensics Investigator for and is a bestselling author of almost a dozen books on cyber crime. Using his investigative skills he examines the allegations that the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School were a hoax. On December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza fatally shot twenty children and six adult staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the village of Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut. Recent allegations and a plethora of YouTube videos have arisen that the events at Sandy Hook are all a hoax. On the surface, this is quite disturbing to me for two reasons. If the allegations are true then we as a nation are confronting another serious problem; and if they are false, then this is a very cruel burden to place on the grieving families. As a trained investigator, I will look dispassionately at both sides and allow my readers to decide for themselves. I was taught that the best lie is always sandwiched between two truths. On the surface, what is to be gained if the allegations prove to be true? And conversely, what is to be gained if the allegations prove to be false? Where is the winner in all of this? These questions and many more are presently coursing through my brain and as I begin any investigation, the questions come at me rapidly and demand answers. Truth can be elusive, but sooner than later the truth always prevails.

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A Dark Night in Aurora: Inside James Holmes and the Colorado Mass Shootings
A Dark Night in Aurora: Inside James Holmes and the Colorado Mass Shootings
James Holmes killed or wounded seventy people in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. Only one man was allowed to record extensive interviews with the shooter. This is what he found. On July 20, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado, a man in dark body armor and a gas mask entered a midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises with a tactical shotgun, a high-capacity assault rifle, and a sidearm. He threw a canister of tear gas into the crowd and began firing. Soon twelve were dead and fifty-eight were wounded; young children and pregnant women were among them. The man was found calmly waiting at his car. He was detained without resistance.Unlike the Columbine, Newtown, San Bernadino, and Las Vegas shootings, James Holmes is unique among mass shooters in his willingness to be taken into custody alive. In the court case that followed, only Dr. William H. Reid, a distinguished forensic psychiatrist, would be allowed to record interviews with the defendant. Reid would read Holmes’ diary, investigate his phone calls and text messages, interview his family and acquaintances, speak to his victims, and review tens of thousands of pages of evidence and court testimony in an attempt to understand how a happy, seemingly normal child could become a killer.A Dark Night in Aurora uses the twenty-three hours of unredacted interview transcripts never seen by the public and Reid’s research to bring the reader inside the mind of a mass murderer. The result is chilling, gripping study of abnormal psychology and how a lovely boy named Jimmy became a killer.

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Shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School: The Adam Lanza Report
Shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School: The Adam Lanza Report
In January, 2013, The Office of the Child Advocate was directed by the Connecticut Child Fatality Review Panel to prepare a report that would focus on Adam Lanza (hereinafter “AL”), and include a review of the circumstances that pre-dated his commission of mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The charge was to develop any recommendations for public health system improvement that emanated from the report. Authors looked for any warning signs, red flags, or other lessons that could be learned from a review of AL’s life. It is vital to note that AL was completely untreated in the years before the shooting and did not receive sustained, effective services during critical periods of his life, and it is this story that the report seeks to tell.

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