At the heart of the hamlet of New Suffolk lies 3.4 acres of waterfront property with sweeping views of Cutchogue Harbor and Robins Island. A natural anchorage, Cutchogue Harbor and New Suffolk were home to a busy port at the end of the 18th century and a flourishing oyster and scalloping industry at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. New Suffolk’s waters were also the site for the trials of the US Navy’s first submarine, the USS Holland, and the port served as a submarine base from 1897-1905. The waterfront was the lifeblood of this community.

Although some nearby businesses still thrive, the waterfront itself has slowly declined over the last 30 years. A string of private developers proposed various schemes for the waterfront property, including condominiums in the 1980s, a large marina and conference center in the 1990’s, and most recently a “rack and stack” boat storage operation. None of these projects, however, was in keeping with the history, character, and scale of the hamlet, and one by one, in the face of vigorous opposition from the community organized through the New Suffolk Civic Association, these development ventures were abandoned.


In 2005, members of the New Suffolk Civic Association resolved to purchase the property to ensure its preservation and appropriate development. To accomplish this, they began by establishing a 501(c)(3) organization, the New Suffolk Waterfront Fund, Inc. (NSWF).

In a collaborative effort with the Peconic Land Trust (Trust), a “bargain sale” was negotiated with the prior owners, and the Trust acquired the property for $2.4 million in 2007. Three years later, as planned, NSWF purchased the property from the Trust, with the help of a $1.5 million loan from The Conservation Fund and financial support of over 500 individual donors. At that time, NSWF also took over management of the property from the Trust.

In June, 2012, a collaboration, this time with Robins Island Holdings, allowed the community to finally enjoy a long term solution to a threatened property. Robins Island Holdings agreed to purchase the southern portion of the property to create a protected preserve. Two and one half acres remain the property of NSWF. Conservation easements guarantee the protection of opens spaces and scenic vistas in perpetuity.

With property acquisition behind us, the Waterfront Fund began its planning for property renovations. Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy created a new challenge in October of 2012, destroying much of our bulkhead along eastern and northern edges of the property and destroying the foundation of the landmarked Galley Ho restaurant. This forced the Waterfront Fund to act quickly to stabilize the building, and move it away from the water. It currently awaits renovations, which will be made possible by continued fundraising and a Small Business Administration loan. Construction is targeted to begin during the Spring of 2014.


  • to preserve and protect New Suffolk's unique and historic waterfront in ways that respect the property's scenic beauty and maritime heritage;
  • to support recreational, educational, and commercial activities on the site that enhance community life and are environmentally sustainable for both the uplands and the bay; and
  • to assure public access opportunities now and for future generations. 


  • THE CONSERVATION FUND - A national, non-profit land protection organization provided short term financing for our acquisition.
  • ROBINS ISLAND HOLDINGS - Our collaboration created a long-term solution to a threatened property.
  • PECONIC LAND TRUST - Our shared commitment to providing public access and use while preserving open space made this project possible.
  • NYS DEPARTMENT OF PARKS, RECREATION AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION provided a $400,000 grant for acquisition.
  • THE GROUP FOR THE EAST END solicited acquisition funding on our behalf with a matching grant, and continues to advise us in pursuit of our common goal of protecting and restoring the environment of Eastern Long Island.
  • LONG ISLAND COMMUNITY FOUNDATION provided a grant to use for grant writing and project development.
  • THE SUBMARINE VETERANS OF THE US NAVY will work with us in maintaining and expanding the existing memorial that commemorates the historic role of New Suffolk in the development of submarines in the US.

Aerial view of the hamlet of New Suffolk with Robin’s Island in the background

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