Encouraging Clean & Safe Boating Practices During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Publications: Success Stories - Extension (2021)


Dave White, NYSG Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist, E: dgw9@cornell.edu, P: 315-312-3042

Antoinette Clemetson, NYSG Marine Fisheries Specialist, E: aoc5@cornell.eduP: 631-632-8730

New York Sea Grant developed new Clean & Safe boating resources for the for-hire boating industry during the COVID-19 pandemic

Oswego and Stony Brook, NY, March 8, 2021 - The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 created both challenges and opportunities for New York’s boating industry. New boat sales significantly increased as families saw boating as a way to safely “quarantine” in the fresh air. New York Sea Grant (NYSG) developed new outreach programs to help New York’s freshwater and marine for-hire boating sectors during this unique time.

With a National Sea Grant Office COVID-19 Rapid Response grant, NYSG developed decals and posters to encourage good boating practices and public compliance with boating-specific COVID-19 safety precautions. Boat-adhering decals noted “Mask Required,” “Use Sanitizer,” “Wear It” with a life jacket symbol, and ”Keep Personal Belongings Personal.” On others, an erasable marker can be used to designate each individual’s fishing pole or diving gear. The decals were free to qualified, New York-based for-hire charter services, boat rentals, tour boats, and boats for-hire for leisure cruising, fishing or diving. The decals were developed as part of the 2020 edition of NYSG’s nationally-recognized Discover Clean and Safe Boating campaign.

In the marine district, NYSG designed an 11x17-inch “Charterboat Captains Help Fight the Virus” poster (at left) and an “Anglers Help Fight the Virus” poster, for boats and bait-and-tackle stores, that urged the use of masks, hand sanitizer, social distancing, and proper disposal of used masks. Approximately 220 recreational fishing businesses were recipients of these informational resources as well as a contact form template to record basic passenger information for use if warranted for COVID-19 contact tracing.

A dedicated website, www.nyseagrant.org/forhire, was developed to include print-on-demand templates of the decals and posters, and links to CDC and New York State COVID-19 guidelines, and the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas’ Guide to Operating Your Boat Business Safely during COVID-19.

This NYSG outreach in 2020 supported the opportunity to be on New York’s waters for the public and for the marine industry that is an essential economic driver for the state’s coastal economies. Inspiration was taken from a marine industry theme from the 1990s: “Boating in NY is good clean fun. . . let’s keep it that way.”

More Info:
New York Sea Grant

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York (SUNY), is one of 34 university-based programs under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program.

Since 1971, NYSG has represented a statewide network of integrated research, education and extension services promoting coastal community economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness and understanding about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

Through NYSG’s efforts, the combined talents of university scientists and extension specialists help develop and transfer science-based information to many coastal user groups—businesses and industries, federal, state and local government decision-makers and agency managers, educators, the media and the interested public.

The program maintains Great Lakes offices at Cornell University, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Oswego and the Wayne County Cooperative Extension office in Newark. In the State's marine waters, NYSG has offices at Stony Brook University in Long Island, Brooklyn College and Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC and Elmsford and Kingston in the Hudson Valley.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via www.nyseagrant.org/nycoastlines for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly.

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