NY Sea Grant Waterfront Launch Steward Program Expanding for 2013
Coastal Community Development Program - Press Release
Contacts:  

Mary Penney, NY Sea Grant, E: mp357@cornell.edu, P:315-312-3042

Kara Lynn Dunn, Publicist, E: karalynn@gisco.net, P: 315-465-7578


Oswego, NY, June 8, 2013 - Oswego, NY, June 8, 2013 - The summer steward program coordinated by New York Sea Grant (NYSG) is expanding from Jefferson and Oswego counties to include waterfront sites in Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, and Wayne counties.

In 2013, the NYSG Launch Steward program that informs the public about the Lake Ontario and Oneida Lake and inland rivers environment is focused on offering voluntary watercraft inspection education to motorized and non-motorized boaters at 15 launch sites.

The seven college students hired as the 2013 New York Sea Grant Launch Stewards have been trained and are now covering the eastern Lake Ontario shoreline from Sodus Bay to Henderson, the Oswego River, Little Salmon River, Salmon River, Sandy Creek, Stony Creek, and the Oneida Lake South Shore from Bridgeport to Brewerton.

The goal of the inspections and public education programs offered throughout the boating season by the NYSG Launch Stewards is to empower boaters to help slow the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS).

Nick Spera of Brewerton, NY, takes on the role of Chief Steward in 2013. He will assist the six new incoming stewards and expand his own educational outreach focused on public involvement in aquatic invasive species management through such activities as water chestnut pulls. Nick is an Environmental Science and Psychology graduate of Nazareth College.
 
Four of the stewards are graduates or students of SUNY Oswego. Heather Dunham of Hornell, NY, will be a senior zoology major at SUNY Oswego in the fall. The educational aspect of the Launch Steward program fits her interest in becoming an educator at a zoo.
  • Brittney Rogers of Mexico, NY, is a 2013 zoology graduate of SUNY Oswego. Her goal is to pursue a career in wildlife rehabilitation and conservation.

  • Ryan Thompson of Savona, NY, is a SUNY Oswego graduate with a biology degree and an interest in environmental health and biosecurity career opportunities.

  • Clinton A. Whittaker, Jr. of Manchester, NY, will be a senior biology major at SUNY Oswego in the fall. He is pursuing multidisciplinary interests in the field of ecology.

  • Sophia Oliveira of New Milford, CT, is a 2013 biology graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology. She plans to continue her education with graduate studies focused on conservation and wildlife biology in the fall.

  • Megan Pistolese of Watertown, NY, will be a senior environmental science major with Empire State College in the fall. She is interested to participate in public educational efforts to preserve the local waterfront environment. Megan will be blogging for the 2013 Launch Steward program.
New York Sea Grant Coastal Community Development Specialist Mary Penney serves as the Launch Steward Program Coordinator. New York Sea Grant coordinates the Steward Program in cooperation with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Parks, the Towns of Sodus, Scriba and Henderson, the City of Oswego, and Onondaga County. Funding is through a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative contract administered by the Finger Lakes-Lake Ontario Watershed Protection Alliance.
 
For more information, contact Mary Penney at 315-312-3042 or check out www.nyseagrant.org/ccd for details on public programs. The New York Sea Grant Launch Steward Blog will begin in mid-June.


Launch Steward Program Coordinator New York Sea Grant Coastal Community Development Specialist Mary Penney, left, is seen here with the 2013 New York Sea Grant Launch Stewards, standing left to right, Brittney Rogers, Sophia Oliveira, Megan Pistolese, Heather Dunham, and, front row left to right, Chief Steward Nick Spera, Ryan Thompson, and Clinton A. Whittaker, Jr. Photo: NY Sea Grant


More Info:

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York, is one of 33 university-based programs under the National Sea Grant College Program (NSGCP) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The NSGCP engages this network of the nation’s top universities in conducting scientific research, education, training and extension projects designed to foster science-based decisions about the use and conservation of our aquatic resources. Through its statewide network of integrated services, NYSG has been promoting coastal vitality, environmental sustainability, and citizen awareness about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources since 1971.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube links. NYSG also offers a free e-list sign up via www.nyseagrant.org/coastlines for NY Coastlines, its flagship publication, and Currents, its e-newsletter supplement, each distributed several times a year.

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