New York Sea Grant Coastal Community Development Specialist Mary Penney
will soon announce the names of the college students selected to fill up 2014's Launch
Steward Program. Last year's Launch Stewards included, (kneeling in
front row, l-r), Brittney Rogers, Sophia Oliveira, Megan Pistolese,
(middle row) Heather Dunham; (top row, l-r), Chief Steward Nick Spera,
Ryan Thompson, and Clinton A. Whittaker, Jr. Photo: Dave White, NY Sea
Mary Penney, New York Sea Grant Coastal Community Development Specialist, SUNY Oswego, E: firstname.lastname@example.org
, P: 315-312-3042
One of NYSG's 2014 impact statements focuses on the program's various aquatic invasive species education efforts
including the Launch Stewards program. Combined, these activities - which
reach diverse audiences to engage public participation in prevention and
restoration efforts - have involved more than 335,000 New Yorkers and
restored over 335 acres.
Oswego, NY, March 17, 2014 - New York Sea Grant will soon announce the names of the
college and graduate students selected to serve as Launch Stewards this summer and fall at waterfront
venues spanning seven counties along New York's Lake Ontario shoreline—Cayuga, Jefferson, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, and
The student-stewards will provide watercraft inspection training and
public outreach to boaters at select launch ramps along Lake Ontario
between Henderson Harbor and Sodus Bay and on Oneida Lake.
Using a standardized protocol, the student-stewards demonstrate and
teach boaters the nationally-recognized Clean, Drain, Dry principles of
the Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers campaign as a part of a simple watercraft
inspection that helps minimize and prevent the spread of aquatic
invasive species (AIS).
“The Launch Stewards along Lake Ontario and on waters elsewhere in New
York play a key role in educating the public about how they can help
manage aquatic invasive species,” says Steward Program Manager Mary
, a Coastal Community Development Specialist with New York Sea
Grant, Oswego, NY. “New York Sea Grant is working with other steward
program leaders, the Cornell University Invasive Species Program, and
the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to develop
branding that makes the stewards easily identifiable by boaters and to
standardize the protocol for safe, quick and simple inspections by
stewards and by the boaters themselves after they leave the launch
The Launch Stewards also participate in educational outreach, collect boater usage and AIS data.
Steward Experience Helps Student Launch Fisheries Research Career:
Former New York Sea Grant Waterfront Steward Stacy Furgal, left, is now
a Fisheries Technician with the U.S. Geological Survey in Oswego, NY.
She is seen with Ted Strang, chief engineer of the USGS Research Vessel
Kaho, bottom trawling on Lake Ontario. Photo:USGS
Former New York Sea Grant Launch Steward Stacy Furgal
, now a U.S.
Geological Survey Fisheries Technician, says the experience she gained
as a waterfront steward with New York Sea Grant was invaluable training
for working in the environmental field.
“As a New York Sea Grant steward, I was introduced to good data
management practices and had the opportunity to build my collaboration
and communication skills. I interacted with the public and was
responsible for sharing accurate scientific information about the
resource areas. I learned hands-on knowledge that I am using in my
current invasive fish and zooplankton research job,” Furgal says.
Stewards Enhance NYSG's Existing Invasive Species Education Efforts
As New York Sea Grant's Recreation/Tourism Specialist Dave White
told the newscasters at Watertown's WWNY-TV 7 News This Morning studios in late March, "Our Launch Stewards and others are working with folks at boat launch ramps, helping them to go through their boat and look at what they need to be thinking about when they're heading out or returning from being on the water."
White reminds that "All parts of the boat, anything that comes in contact with the water can actually become a vector for transport of invasive species." Also, while this process is voluntary and only takes a few minutes to go through, it is one that can have a lasting impact on our enjoyment of New York's waterways.
The stewards, who are paid college students, are well-versed in the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network-supported "Clean, Drain, Dry" campaign, which is designed to prevent invasive species from moving from one waterway to another.
For more on Sea Grant's invasive species campaign and launch steward program, check out White's discussion in the video clip below. And For additional information on NYSG's Launch Steward Program is located in that section of our "Great Lakes Coastal Community Development resource site, www.nyseagrant.org/ccdstewards
More Info: NYSG's Connection to WWNY-TV 7 News and its Viewers
Since April 2006, White has been bringing Sea Grant's "message" to the morning masses at WWNY TV 7, a Fox affiliate in downtown Watertown, during one of the highest rated TV blocks in the "wake-up hours," the 6:30-7 am stretch.
Sea Grant's 'five minutes of fame' - which potentially reaches around 10,000 viewers in New York's Jefferson and Northern Oswego Counties - has featured topics over the years such as boating safety, aquatic invasive species, diving in search of sunken wrecks, the dune and Salmon River stewards program, shoreline land issues, tourism, and marine safety.
More Info: New York Sea Grant
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
, and YouTube
links. NYSG also offers a free e-list sign up via www.nyseagrant.org/coastlines
for NY Coastlines
, its flagship publication, which, in 2014, merges with the program's e-newsletter, Currents
. NY Coastlines
is published several times a year.