On December 16, 1966 a group of concerned citizens founded the Suffolk Marine Museum dedicated to the collection and preservation of artifacts of the maritime history of Long Island, New York. Long Island, 120 miles long and 14 miles wide, bounded by the Long Island Sound to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the south and New York City to the west has, since our nation's beginning, been deeply involved in its maritime history. Native Americans, followed by settlers from New England, immigrants from Europe and suburbanites from New York City have fished, harvested shellfish, gone whaling and built ships and boats on its shores. Today, pleasure boating is one of Long Island's largest industries. With this rich heritage as a foundation, the museum, located in West Sayville, on the Great South Bay, opened its doors to the public on May 1, 1968. It has been open on a regular schedule ever since. The museum received its absolute charter from the New York State Board of Regents in November 1983.The Board of Trustees, in cooperation with the Suffolk County Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation chose a path of development which provided for a Museum Board, with its fund-raising abilities, to develop the collection of vessels, historic buildings, machinery and artifacts.