The stated purpose of the museum shall be:
LIMM by-laws, Art. I sec.4 adopted by the Board of Trustees, Long Island Maritime Museum, 4/21/1993
The History of the Long Island Maritime Museum
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. The Parks Department supported the staff and maintenance costs. The staff was supplemented by state, federal and private grants for special projects.
In 1993, direct operational support from Suffolk County ceased. Operations were privatized under the corporate identity, Long Island Maritime Museum. That year the Museum's charter was amended to reflect a change of operating name to the Long Island Maritime Museum. This change reflected the expansion the Museum's focus and audience to include all of Long Island.
Today, a full time staff of two, six to ten part timers and a dedicated volunteer force successfully operate the Museum and its programs. Many of our maintenance and restoration projects have been adopted by volunteers, under staff supervision, as educational programs.