On Air: Great Lakes Seaway Trail Blue Byway Program
Great Lakes Boating & Marine Trades - News / Press Release
Should a ship be deliberately sunk in Lake Ontario?
By Gino Geruntino, WRVO Public Media

Based in Oswego, NY, WRVO Public Media is a part of the National Public Radio digital network. WRVO broadcasts news on 89.9 FM and HD-2 Oswego/Syracuse; 90.3 FM and HD-2 Syracuse; 91.7 FM and 99.9 Watertown; 90.1 FM Hamilton; 91.9 FM Utica; 90.5 FM Cortland; 90.7 FM Geneva; and 89.9 Norwich.


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Oswego, NY, October 4, 2013 - The possibility of deliberately sinking a ship in Lake Ontario will be discussed at a seminar Saturday at SUNY Oswego. Dave White, of New York Sea Grant, which is hosting the conference, says sinking a vessel along the shoreline would create a tourism spot for recreational divers and also provide a habitat for fish.

"It provides an area for protection for various species," White said. "It provides an opportunity for actually enhanced habitat for them, so you can actually, in different parts, create an artificial reef in areas where you're going to increase fish populations. So it does bring a whole biological management scheme to the table."

White says it's like adding accessories to a fish tank, but on a much larger scale.

"When you would go out and do that for your aquarium, you're going to pick something you feel maybe blends in with your house or your decor," White said. "You want to do the same thing when people are talking about sinking something. Are there things there, or are you going to put something in that adds value to the community versus just sinking a bunch of stuff off shore."

Divers spend more than $100 million a year in the Great Lakes region, paying for food, boats, fuel and diving supplies.

But White says the process of cleaning and sinking a boat could take years to accomplish, and must be done in accordance with state and federal governments. Once it's sunk, it will last hundreds of years because of the lake's cold, fresh water. Other areas have intentionally sunk, or scuttled, things like a subway car in Cape May, New Jersey, and pieces of Cleveland Municipal Stadium in Lake Erie.


Photos from the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Blue Byway Seminar
Event co-organized by New York Sea Grant, at SUNY Oswego. Photos: Brian P. Whattam


The Blue Byway Seminar at SUNY Oswego included (right to left): co-organizer Dave White, New York Sea Grant; Great Lakes Seaway Trail Chairman John Hall; Great Lakes Seaway Trail Project Manager and co-organizer Lynette Lundy-Beck; Sarah Tichonuk, a nautical archaeologist with the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum; H. Lee White Marine Museum Executive Director Mercedes Niess; and Dale Currier with the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.


The New York State Underwater Blueway Trail, the Great Lakes Observing System Boaters Forecast now available throughout the Great Lakes region and on the St. Lawrence River; and a new Water Trail app in development by New York Sea Grant for the Great Lakes Seaway Trail were all discussed at the October's seminar.


Christopher Nicholson who designed, built and piloted the remotely-piloted vehicle used in the National Geographic filming of the War of 1812 shipwrecks of the Hamilton and Scourge provided the keynote.


Sarah Tichonuk, a nautical archaeologist with the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, spoke about the value of diving and shipwrecks to waterfront communities and economies at the event.


New York Sea Grant's Pre-Event Press Releases

Contacts: 
  • Dave White, New York Sea Grant, P: 315-312-3042; E: dgw9@cornell.edu
  • Lynette Lundy-Beck, Great Lakes Seaway Trail, P: 315-646-1000 x203

Deliberate Sinking of Ships Panel Added to October 5 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Blue Byway Seminar

Oswego, NY, September 27, 2013 - A panel discussion of the deliberate scuttling of historic ships with ties to the Great Lakes Seaway Trail waters of the St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, Niagara River and Lake Erie has been added to the October 5 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Blue Byway Seminar at SUNY Oswego in Oswego, NY.
 
Sarah Tichonuk, a Nautical Archaeologist with the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT, will join Dive Captain Dale Currier and New York Sea Grant Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist Dave White for the panel and open discussion at the 9am to 1pm event.
 
The practice of deliberately sinking ships from significant military to commercial vessels creates artificial reefs suitable for recreational divers, diver training programs, and tourism promoters.
 
Other presenters on the 9am-1pm program include Christopher Nicholson, designer of the remotely-operated underwater vessel used by National Geographic to film the wrecks of the War of 1812 schooners in Lake Ontario. National Weather Service Forecaster Bob Hamilton will present information on the historic weather conditions that influenced the Revolutionary War wreck of the HMS Ontario. He will also share his recent research into the 1913 White Hurricane on the Great Lakes.
 
The event is part of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Underwater Series of maritime heritage and recreation programs Find more information on the October 5 at www.seawaytrail.com/dive.


Learn Great Lakes Seaway Trail Maritime History at Blue Byway Seminar

Oswego, NY, September 16, 2013 – War of 1812 and Revolutionary War shipwrecks, rum runners, a National Weather Service forensic meteorologist, and the new Great Lakes-wide Boaters Forecast are all on the October 5 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Blue Byway Seminar agenda at SUNY Oswego, Oswego, NY.
 
Presenters at the 9:00am-1:00pm program co-sponsored by the Great Lakes Seaway Trail and New York Sea Grant include:
  • Christopher Nicholson, who designed, built and piloted the RPV (remotely-piloted vehicle) for the National Geographic Society film of the schooners Hamilton and Scourge that sank in Lake Ontario during the War of 1812. Nicholson, President of Deep Sea Systems International, Cataumet, MA, has provided technical assistance and engineering services for the exploration of the WWII battleship Arizona, the H.M.S. Breadalbane, and famed freighter Edmund Fitzgerald.

  • National Weather Service Forecaster and forensic meteorologist Robert Hamilton speaking on historic weather conditions on Lake Ontario that influenced the wreck of the 22-gun British warship HMS Ontario during the Revolutionary War.

  • New York Sea Grant Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist Dave White will provide an update on the Great Lakes Observing System Boaters Forecasting tool that is now available throughout the Great Lakes region

  • A guest describing Two Tank Tips for great diving destinations on the Great Lakes Seaway Trail

  • A speaker on Prohibition-era rum running.
Preregistration by October 1, 2013 is $10 at www.seawaytrail.com/dive; late registration and admission at the door is $15 as space allows. For more information, call 315-646-1000 x203.
 
The October 5 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Blue Byway Seminar is part of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Underwater Series of maritime heritage and history programs.
 
The Great Lakes Seaway Trail is a 518-mile National Scenic Byway that offers unique land and water travel opportunities along Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River. Learn more at www.seawaytrail.com.


National Geographic RPV Designer to Speak at Great Lakes Seaway Trail Blue Byway Event October 5 

Oswego, NY, September 12, 2013 – The designer, builder and pilot of the remotely-piloted vehicle, RPV, used by the National Geographic Society to make a documentary film on the War of 1812 shipwrecks of the Hamilton and Scourge will speak at the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Blue Byway event on Saturday, October 5 at SUNY Oswego in Oswego, NY.
 
Christopher Nicholson, president of Deep Sea Systems International, Cataumet, MA, provided his technical and engineering expertise to the filming of the two historic schooners sank in Lake Ontario in 1812.
 
For more than 20 years, Nicholson contracted with the National Geographic Society (NGS) on expeditions worldwide and received NGS research grants to develop specialized underwater vehicles, imaging systems, and HDTV cameras.
 
The WWII battleship Arizona, the H.M.S. Breadalbane, and famed freighter Edmund Fitzgerald are among the other historic shipwrecks Nicholson has helped explorers to document.
 
His underwater engineering skills were also applied to the Hollywood production of Titanic.
 
Nicholson presents Flying Fish awards to young inventors and artists, helps send students to the International Science and Engineering Fair, and supports student science fairs in the Yarmouth, MA, area.
 
Nicholson is on the 9:00am-1:00pm Great Lakes Seaway Trail Blue Byway program, co-sponsored by the Great Lakes Seaway Trail and New York Sea Grant with National Weather Service Forecaster and forensic meteorologist Robert Hamilton and New York Sea Grant Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist Dave White.
 
Presentation of two-tank diving destinations are also on the agenda of the October 5 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Blue Byway Seminar that is part of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Underwater Series of maritime heritage and recreation programs.

Preregistration by October 1, 2013 is $10 at www.seawaytrail.com/dive; late registration and admission at the door is $15 as space allows. For more information, call 315-646-1000 x203.
 
The Great Lakes Seaway Trail is a 518-mile National Scenic Byway that offers unique land and water travel opportunities along Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River. Learn more at www.seawaytrail.com.


Learn Great Lakes Seaway Trail Maritime History at Blue Byway Seminar

Oswego, NY, August 20, 2013 – War of 1812 and Revolutionary War shipwrecks, rum runners, a National Weather Service forensic meteorologist, and the new Great Lakes-wide Boaters Forecast are all on the October 5 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Blue Byway Seminar agenda at SUNY Oswego, Oswego, NY.
 
Presenters at the 9:00am-1:00pm program co-sponsored by the Great Lakes Seaway Trail and New York Sea Grant include:
  • Christopher Nicholson, who designed, built and piloted the RPV (remotely-piloted vehicle) for the National Geographic Society film of the schooners Hamilton and Scourge that sank in Lake Ontario during the War of 1812. Nicholson, President of Deep Sea Systems International, Cataumet, MA, has provided technical assistance and engineering services for the exploration of the WWII battleship Arizona, the H.M.S. Breadalbane, and famed freighter Edmund Fitzgerald.

  • National Weather Service Forecaster and forensic meteorologist Robert Hamilton speaking on historic weather conditions on Lake Ontario that influenced the wreck of the 22-gun British warship HMS Ontario during the Revolutionary War.

  • New York Sea Grant Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist Dave White will provide an update on the Great Lakes Observing System Boaters Forecasting tool that is now available throughout the Great Lakes region

  • A guest describing Two Tank Tips for great diving destinations on the Great Lakes Seaway Trail

  • A speaker on Prohibition-era rum running.
Preregistration by October 1, 2013 is $10 at www.seawaytrail.com/dive; late registration and admission at the door is $15 as space allows. For more information, call 315-646-1000 x203.
 
The October 5 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Blue Byway Seminar is part of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Underwater Series of maritime heritage and history programs.
 
The Great Lakes Seaway Trail is a 518-mile National Scenic Byway that offers unique land and water travel opportunities along Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River. Learn more at www.seawaytrail.com.

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