Coordinates: The WaterFront Center (WFC) is a non-profit community center for marine education and recreation in Oyster Bay, New York. Each year WFC provides educational and recreational programs and events to over 17,000 youth and adults. Activities such as seining, sniggling, stand up paddle boarding, sailing, dip netting, and education on alternative energy are just a small sample of the programs offered. WFC encourages people of all ages and backgrounds to get out on the waters of Oyster Bay and learn about the marine environment and the sport of sailing. WFC provides marine education programs, sailing instruction to adults and children, Junior Summer Programs, school field trips, scout activities, cruises on its historic oyster sloop Christeen, and kayak and sailboat rentals.
The Christeen is the oldest oyster sloop in the United States and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1992. She was built in 1883 in Glenwood Landing, New York as a gaff-rigged sloop. She had several homes including Essex, Connecticut, but in 1992 she arrived back in the hamlet of Oyster Bay, New York at The WaterFront Center. Funds were raised and over the next seven years, she was restored and relaunched. She currently serves as a working museum ship, offering educational tours of Oyster Bay and Cold Spring Harbor.
Oyster Bay is said to have some of the healthiest waters in the Long Island Sound; they are classified SA - signifying the highest and best water quality. Home of the famous “Pine Island” oysters, farmed since 1887 by Frank M. Flower and Sons, our waters produce up to 90 percent of the oysters and up to 40 percent of the hard clams harvested in all of New York State.
This area of the waterfront used to be the site of Jakobson’s Shipyard, which during World War II employed over 600 workers, building minesweepers, tugboats and mini-submarines for the U.S. Navy. At its height of production, Jakobson’s Shipyard was the largest builder of tugboats east of the Mississippi.
Today this is the home of The WaterFront Center, an environmental education facility, and the Oyster Bay Sailing School. Here visitors can go aboard the Christeen, the oldest remaining oyster sloop in North America.
- Oyster Bay History Walk
- Theodore Roosevelt in Oyster Bay
- List of Town of Oyster Bay Landmarks
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Nassau County, New York