The museum will tackle the science behind the waves. The above video is a dramatic animation of the winds generated by Hurricane Eduarde in the Mid-Atlantic on Sept. 17, 2014. Each storm has a story. Such animations will be paired with videos and photos to help visitors appreciate the natural forces responsible for waves, currents, and storm surge. Dalton Portella's photos, below, show Hurricane Eduarde's waves wrapping onto Montauk's rock reefs. A swell to remember.
The mission of the Montauk Surf Museum, formally known as the Oceans Institute of the Montauk Historical Society, is to tell the story of how Montauk, N.Y. came to be one of the foremost surfing destinations on the East Coast. Surfing, yes, but we aim to reach beneath the waves and along the coast to explain how sea-level rise and erosion are shaping our future.
The story will be told within the context of the sport’s Polynesian roots, but will focus on the way in which natural features, weather, and societal change combined to bring the Hawaiian Sport of Kings to a once-isolated fishing village at the eastern end of Long Island. The science of surfing, which includes coastal dynamics, topics like sea-level rise, as well as our local marine species and ecosystems, will be a natural extension of the existing installations at the adjacent Montauk Lighthouse Museum.
The Museum’s location is perhaps its prominent feature. It overlooks three of Montauk’s (and the East Coast’s) best surf breaks. The Museum space will include electronic displays that portray the science of waves; how they are generated, and what is it that gives Montauk’s waves their singular attraction.
The “Swells to Remember” section will feature photos and video of outstanding waves with an accompanying display of satellite imagery of the weather responsible for creating the memorable swells. And, we intend to collect an oral history -- surfers talking story -- of waves and wave-riding on Long Island.
We view the Surf Museum/Oceans Institute as a community resource. Suggestions and contributions are welcome.
The Museum will include a section that tells how 18th and 19th Century explorers, as well as whalers from East Coast ports including nearby Sag Harbor, brought word of the strange sport/ritual from the South Pacific to the western world. Installations will include a display of surfboards to show the evolution of surfboard design. Long Island-based surfboard designers and shapers will be featured, as well as Montauk’s surfing pioneers.
The Museum will include an archive of interviews with surfers, as well as photographs, and will feature special events to highlight artists, musicians, and filmmakers inspired by surfing and the sea. A virtual aquarium will introduce the sea creatures -- some with big teeth – with whom we share with sea. The museum’s installations will be ever-changing, and we plan to make visits to the facility a regular part of school curriculums. For instance, the musem will sponsor the catch and release of sharks fitted with satellite tags that will enable them to be tracked on their migrations.
Our Web site will present a virtual tour of the Museum, and we plan to create a museum app that will allow visitors to use their cell phones and/or tablets we provide to enjoy a self-guided tour.
Kickstarter funds will go toward the completion of the ocean blue flooring and the restoration of our building's doors and windows.
We at the Montauk Surf Museum are stoked. Hope you are too.
Follow our journey at: @mtksurfmuseum
Risks and challenges
There are always issues that arise in the completion of projects like this. We as a team will continue to collect support throughout the next few months in order to make sure everyone's generous donations are put to good use.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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