New Suffolk, NY

New Suffolk Waterfront

Project Type

Conservation

Acreage

3.4

Things to do

Birdwatching, Photography, Nature Study, Gardening, Sailing, Fishing

Access

Public

Address
650 1st St, New Suffolk, NY 11956

About

Travel into the heart of New Suffolk hamlet and you will see a dynamic waterfront, with community gardens, marina, bay beach and community gathering spots. But this beautiful harborside location, the home to the first United State submarine base where the U.S.S. Holland was commissioned by the U.S. Navy, had an uncertain future at one time. Today, under the stewardship of the New Suffolk Waterfront Fund (the Fund) -- a community-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization -- it is thriving.

With sweeping views of Cutchogue Harbor and Robins Island -- the waterfront has become a place for recreational and cultural activities as well as an important access to the waterfront and the bay beyond. 

Once home to a busy port, a flourishing shellfish industry and site trials for the US Navy's first submarine, the New Suffolk waterfront has been a vibrant landscape for more than 200 years. When, over a 30-year period, the property was repeatedly targeted by developers for outsized projects -- including condominiums and heavy commercial use -- the community rallied. In 2005 the Fund was established.

Getting to this place took the efforts of many, including dedicated community members, foundations, and the Peconic Land Trust.

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In 1989, members of the New Suffolk Civic Association contacted the Peconic Land Trust given their concerns over the future of the waterfront as the property changed hands and development proposals were submitted. Very early on, the Trust suggested that the best way to control its destiny was for the community to own the property itself. 

Eighteen years later, the opportunity presented itself.  With the Fund in place and its resolve to raise funds to ultimately own the property, the Trust purchased the 3.4 acre parcel on December 19, 2007 through a bargain sale using its revolving fund and other assets for the acquisition. By December 2010, the New Suffolk Waterfront Fund had raised enough funds to acquire property from the Peconic Land Trust.

Prior to its transfer, the Fund and the Trust held numerous community meetings to gather input on the future use of the site — and the Fund worked diligently raising funds from the community and foundations to acquire the property, including the Robins Island Foundation, the Long Island Community Foundation, the Laura P. Winship Fund at the San Diego Foundation and the Group for the East End. The Fund was also provided bridge financing by The Conservation Fund through its Land Trust Loan Program.

“We are very pleased that we have been able to assist the community in realizing a dream to protect this waterfront, long a source of community pride and interest, while they undertook a fundraising initiative. We wish the New Suffolk Waterfront Fund all the best as they take on the next phase of life for this important, historic property,” said the Trust’s Tim Caufield at the time of the transfer.

The Fund was able to complete the fundraising for the acquisition in July 2013, when conservation philanthropist Louis Bacon’s Robins Island Holdings LLC purchased 1.1 acres of the southernmost portion of the property from the Fund, and simultaneously conveyed a conservation easement on the property to the Peconic Land Trust.

If you haven’t had the chance, please take some time and visit the waterfront and see what community conservation can achieve!

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Visitor Information

The property provides public access to a small marina, a picnic area, a community garden and a non-swimming beach. It is also the home to the Galley Ho building, where a casual restaurant operates today as it has historically. This park-like setting provides a rare public waterfront destination for the community.

John Page Boardwalk The entire 240 foot western edge of the New Suffolk marina is bordered by 6 foot wide walkway, built by volunteers. The walkway has been named in honor of John Page, an early and long-time generous supporter of the Fund. His vision and contribution to preserving this large open space in our community, for the use and enjoyment of all, is greatly appreciated.

Meadow A large meadow buffers the Community Garden from the Galley Ho building and camouflages a state-of-the-art low profile septic system. The meadow was designed by Stacy Paetzel, a local landscape architect, and has paths mown through it so you can enjoy the flowers and grasses, including a selection of pollinators and native plants which attract a variety of birds and butterflies.

Community Gardens Garden rows for the community to use, including 2 1/2 rows that are shared by all the gardeners – one for flowers, one for vines and a half row for herbs.

Submarine Beach Named in honor of its former role as the location for trials of the first US Navy submarine, the USS Holland. This is not presently a swimming beach, but as finances allow, NSWF hopes to clean up the underwater area to make it safe for water access, and possibly as a location for oyster and clam growing. Now the beach can be used to view Wednesday Night races at one of the Fund’s picnic tables, or as a place to put down a blanket and umbrella and enjoy the sun, sand and incredible views.

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New Suffolk Waterfront

650 1st St, New Suffolk, NY 11956

Things To Do

Birdwatching
Birdwatching
Photography
Photography
Nature Study
Nature Study
Gardening
Gardening
Sailing
Sailing
Fishing
Fishing

Get Involved

The New Suffolk Waterfront Fund owns and manages the bayside preserve. Interested in getting involved, visit their website for contact information.

The Fund hosts educational and recreational programs throughout the year, many in partnership with the Peconic Land Trust and other local organizations and nonprofits.