How You Can Help New York's Small Harbors
Great Lakes Boating & Marine Trades - News

Great Lakes Small Harbor Coalition Looking to Help NY’s Harbor Managers
Albion and Oswego to Host Workshops

Contacts:

  • Dave White, New York Sea Grant, 315-312-3042
  • Chuck May, Chair Pro-tem, Great Lakes Small Harbors Coalition

Oswego, NY, October 16, 2009 — New York Sea Grant, the Orleans County Tourism Office, the Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism & Planning and the Great Lakes Small Harbor Coalition are holding workshops in Albion from 1pm to 4pm on October 27 at Tillman's Village Inn Restaurant and in Oswego, NY, from 1pm to 4pm on October 28 at the Oswego Public Library to help shoreline community leaders and harbor managers.

“The goal of the workshop is to discuss how the regional coalition can help New York’s recreational and commercial small harbor managers address management, dredging and funding needs,” says Dave White, White, a recreation and tourism specialist with New York Sea Grant’s Great Lakes Program.

A small harbor is defined as one of less than 14 feet of depth.

The primary objective of the Coalition, with members in all eight Great Lakes states, is to advocate for better ways to appropriate federal funds for dredging small harbors and maintaining navigational access for recreational boaters and other harbor users.

Speakers at the workshop include Great Lakes Commission Special Projects Manager Dave Knight, US Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District Operations Chief Kathy Griffin, Great Lakes Small Harbor Coalition Chair Pro-Tem Chuck May and White.

“Maintaining access to small harbors is a regional concern, not that of any one state, and thus requires a regional solution, so the Great Lakes Small Harbor Coalition involves member harbors from all eight Great Lakes states,” says May. “We feel that as a Great Lakes regional organization the Coalition carries even more potential to leverage federal resources and give small harbors a more prominent and unified voice in budget and policy matters.”

The Albion and Oswego workshop topics include the economic impact of shallow harbors in New York state and the issues that face shallow harbor managers and users.

Michael Waterhouse, Sportfishing Coordinator with the Orleans County Tourism Office, says, “Not only do these great harbors provide important economic input to the counties and to the state, they also supply fantastic recreational opportunities for our residents right in their own backyard. For years each harbor and small groups of harbors have been working hard to maintain proper funding for maintenance of their harbors. The time has come to join together and show those who control this funding the true value of these small harbors.”

David Turner, director of the Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning, says, “Oswego County is blessed with 35 beautiful miles of Lake Ontario shoreline. Within that boundary, we have four small harbors that generate millions of dollars every year in our commercial and recreational business sectors. Joining the Great Lakes Small Harbor Coalition provides us with tremendous opportunity to ensure that these harbors can function at their highest level of service and that they will continue to serve the business and leisure needs of our citizenry.”

The October workshops are free, however, pre-registration by October 23 is requested. Contact New York Sea Grant at 315-312-3042 or email sgoswego@cornell.edu with your choice of workshop location and how many will attend.

The Great Lakes-wide coalition was formed in 2009 as a successor to the Michigan Small Harbors Coalition created in 2007. The Michigan Small Harbors Coalition efforts helped secure $45 million in dredging appropriations for federally authorized harbors in Michigan in 2009.

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