On YouTube, On Air: Great Lakes Shipwreck Display Enhances Boating Education Program
Great Lakes Boating & Marine Trades - News

Compiled by Paul C. Focazio, NYSG's Web Content Manager
    (Additional info provided by Kara Dunn, Freelance Writer; Great Lakes Boating Magazine)


Sea Grant's Clean and Safe Boating campaign—which received a 2013 Wear It! award for excellence in teaching the public about life jacket safety—is a partnership with the Boating Industries Association (BIA) of Upstate New York with extensive support from marine industry representatives. Featuring a different type of vessel provided by New York State manufacturers and dealers each year, the campaign has also been recognized by at four international marine industry conferences as a model marine industry partnership program.


Oswego, NY, December 17, 2014 - Having just wrapped up  its eight season, the New York Sea Grant-initiated "Discover Clean & Safe Boating" project continues to be a model industry-partnered educational effort that has expanded from Great Lakes' venues to sites statewide. The exhibit has now been seen by more than half-a-million boaters and potential boaters ... and counting at over 50 events in all of New York state's coastal regions.

Great Lakes Boating magazine featured the campaign in its July / August 2014 issue. The headline read "New York Sea Grant Offers a Top Notch Safety Program." The two-page spread began this note from the editor: "When the U.S. Coast Guard reported earlier this year that boating fatalities had reached an all-time low, it prompted GLB to ask why and to see if there were any exemplary safe boating education programs in the Great Lakes. While we found many outstanding programs throughout the region, it didn't take long for us to recognize New York Sea Grant's Clean and Safe Boating Education Campaign as a top notch safety program. The goal of this effort is to keep the public up-to-date about required safety equipment, environmentally-sound boating practices and effective methods to reduce the transport of invasive species."


Gene Little of the Coast Guard Auxiliary in Ithaca explained one of the many safe life preservers used in a in-water life jacket demonstration to Edwin Bender of Lowville and his sons, 12 year old Justin 12, and 10 year old Brian. Comments on public survey forms distributed at various NY boat shows that offered the Clean and Safe Boating Program indicate an increased awareness of the importance of wearing life jackets and of the most current boating laws and regulations. Photo: Stephen D. Cannerelli, Syracuse.com


At Empire Farm Days in Seneca Fall, NY in early August, the 2014 campaign's educational vessels—a two-seat 10-foot ‘water mouse’ and a made-in-New York Grumman aluminum canoe—were on exhibit at pond-side. Both were equipped with all the gear required and recommended for legal, safe and environmentally-friendly boating on New York’s waters.

"I love that my little boat is traveling on a public service mission with New York Sea Grant," said Patti White of Pirate's Cove Marina and Resort on the Oneida River in Clay, NY, who donated the use of the water mouse. "We need to encourage every boater to be safety conscious in any size boat."

Also during the three-day event, which is the largest outdoor agricultural trade show in the northeastern U.S., campaign developer Dave White, New York Sea Grant's coastal recreation and tourism specialist, conducted some in-water life jacket demonstration. NYSG's 2014 Launch Stewards were on-hand, too, to share tips on how motorized and non-motorized boaters can use Clean, Drain, Dry watercraft inspection practices to help slow the spread of aquatic invasive species.

"'Clean, Drain, Dry' refers to easy-to-implement steps boaters can take whenever they launch their boats to help reduce the spread of invasive species that can impact boating venues and the coastal economies that thrive on marine-related activities," said White.


Ro Woodward of the NYS Park Marine Services Bureau took part in Sea Grant's in-water life jacket demonstration, which have educated hundreds of people about personal safety for themselves, their families, passengers and pets. Photos: Stephen D. Cannerelli, Syracuse.com


NYSG's David White took part in a canoe safety demonstration. He showed how important it is to wear your life jacket and not just have it in the boat. The canoe, provided by Marathon Boat Group, is one of two vessels used in this year's campaign, the other one being a 10-foot water mouse courtesy of Patti White of Pirate’s Cove Marina and Resort Clay, NY. Photo: Stephen D. Cannerelli, Syracuse.com


Fishing, hunting, and trapping groups, information on how to lease farmland for recreational uses, and other outdoor sporting resources were also found among the 600-plus Empire Farm Days exhibits by agricultural institutions and organizations.


New York Sea Grant Launch Stewards Jordan Bodway (above, at left) and Jeremy Galvin (at right) are seen in front of the Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! display at The New York State Fair in Syracuse, NY. Photo: Brian P. Whattam

Later in August, the Clean and Safe Boating Campaign shifted focus with a new exhibit for the New York State Fair that, in addition to educating about clean boating and aquatic invasive species, put a spotlight on the shipwrecks of the Great Lakes. Why? “New York is home to some of the most important and historically significant shipwrecks in the entire country, and so our goal this past summer was to help inform fair-goers on some of the history that took place right in their own backyards," said White.

On-hand for visitors to the "Shipwrecks of NY’s Great Lakes" exhibit tent were an array of historical artifacts as well as videos and 10 interpretive panels with fascinating details and images of shipwrecks in Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Champlain, the Finger Lakes, Lake George and the St. Lawrence River spanning two centuries.

For more on this event, including a series of photos and video clips, see NYSG's related news items: "On YouTube, On Air: NYSG Makes a Splash at NY State Fair"  and "Sea Grant and Partners Educate on Boater Safety, Shipwrecks at NY State Fair: Photo Gallery." The full archive of information from this event can be seen at www.nyseagrant.org/shipwreck.



U.S. Coast Guard ice rescue drill. Photo: USCG/Kevin Erwin

New York's first responders who handle water-related emergencies received Cold Water Rescue Training from NYSG's White at February's 2014 Central New York State Boat Show. In the weeks following the training, Dale Currier, Oswego County Office of Emergency Management Director, received a letter from the City of Oswego Fire Department in appreciation for the training. The letter noted that two of the department's professional firefighter-paramedics applied the training to save a life within a week of the show.

Firefighter-Paramedic Raymond Abbott said, "Within a week of the training, we responded to a hypothermia call with an unresponsive victim. We applied the training, which was a good review for us, and the victim later walked out of the hospital without any deficits."

Firefighter-Paramedic Christopher Stupp added, "The work of fire and EMS providers is so diverse now that we are constantly training. The cold survival training [received] at February's boat show refreshed the finer details for a type of call that we do not often respond to in the city."

"Maintaining our own well-being and safety (as emphasized in the training) is a priority so that we can help those in need," noted Abbott.


A Look Back at 2014's "Discover Better Boating" Season

In 2011, the Clean and Safe Boating campaign gained a little more acclaim when it became a May-October monthly "Discover Better Boating" segment that aired, and is still on a cable television system (Time Warner Cable) reaching 25 counties with approximately 550,000 viewers. The series is driven by NYSG and sponsored by the BIA of Upstate New York.

The content, streamed directly through BIA's Web site, is responsible for an increase in off-season (November-April) vs. on-season (May-October) visitors, which have grown from an average of, respectively, 1,200 to more than 60,000 a month.

Here are some of the coastal recreational tips-laden videos - Discover Better Boating and otherwise - that were filmed this year ...

  • May 16, 2014 - Quick Tip of the Month: Boater Safety Kit More>

  • May 17, 2014 - How To Get Your Boat Trailer Ready For the Season More>

  • June 20, 2014 - Discover Better Boating Quick Tip: Don't Take Aquatic Hitchhikers With You More>

  • June 21, 2014 - New Ways to Enjoy Kayaking, Canoeing as Summer Begins More>

  • July 18, 2014 - Discover Better Boating Quick Tip: How to Keep Petroleum Out of the Water More>

  • July 19, 2014 - New Boat Design Makes Water Surfing an Easy Way to Enjoy the Lake More>

  • August 16, 2014Propane Engines Newest Technology for Boaters More>

  • September 20, 2014 - Boating Accessories: Docks & Lifts More>

  • October 17, 2014 - Discover Better Boating Quick Tip: Wear It Campaign Advocates Life Jackets More>

  • October 18, 2014 - Plenty of Weather Information at Finger Tips for Boaters More>
Other related boating clips ...
  • May 13, 2014 - On YouTube: 2014 National Safe Boating Week More>

  • May 20, 2014 - It's National Safe Boating Week. Are You Set For a Safe Season? More>

  • June 2, 2014 - Boating Season Underway, More Risk of Invasive Species Being Spread More>

  • July 15, 2014 - New Propane Outboards Are A 'Green' Option More>

  • August 26, 2014 - Shipwrecks of The Great Lakes More>

  • September 5, 2014 - On YouTube, On Air: NYSG Makes a Splash at NY State Fair More>

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, which merged with our e-newsletter, Currents, in 2014 - is published several times a year.

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