Great Lakes Seaway Trail Blue Byway Seminar
Great Lakes Boating & Marine Trades - Press Release

Lynette Lundy-Beck, Series Coordinator, P: 315-646-1000 x203
Sam Genco, Diver, P (cell): 716-490-3778, best times: 10 am, 4pm
Kara Lynn Dunn, Publicist, P: 315-465-7578, E:

Dunkirk, NY, April 3, 2013 – Freediver Sam Genco has been added to the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Blue Byway Seminar taking place 9am-4pm on Saturday, April 13, 2013, at the Clarion Conference Center and Marina in Dunkirk, NY. Genco - a noted freediver in the Niagara River/Lake Erie area of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail region that parallels 518 miles of freshwater shoreline in New York and Pennsylvania - will talk about the wide variety of Lake Erie diving, snorkeling and freediving adventures available to people of all ages and experience levels. He is a US Coast Guard-licensed Captain and a former Captain with Osprey Charters out of Barcelona, NY.

This is the first time the Great Lakes Seaway Trail underwater history and tourism program series has come to the Lake Erie region, and the first program in the series to feature a presentation on snorkeling and freediving (the latter of which does not involve the use of scuba tanks or other breathing devices). Genco, who has been scuba diving since 1983, is well-known for his freediving on Lake Erie shipwrecks that are deeper than some divers have seen using scuba gear.

Genco will be joined by a variety of other speakers, including a forensic weather forecaster, an underwater explorer dubbed the Great Lakes Seaway Trail ‘Jacques Cousteau of shipwrecks,’ an historical archaeologist, coastal recreation specialist, charter captain, and Erie Maritime Museum staff and volunteers:

  • Robert ‘Bob’ Hamilton, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service at Buffalo, NY, is noted for presenting his research of the meteorological conditions that have impacted historic events, including shipwrecks. He presented his study of the weather influencing the time of the foundering of the 18th century British warship HMS Ontario at the Great Lakes Meteorological Operational Workshop in Chicago in 2012.

  • Underwater explorer and engineer Jim Kennard, dubbed the ‘Jacques Cousteau of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail,’ has been featured in such publications as National Geographic and Sea Technology magazines for the 200-plus rare and historic shipwrecks he has discovered in numerous waters in his 40-year diving exploration career. His discovery of the HMS Ontario is considered an underwater Holy Grail.

  • Historical archaeologist Douglas J. Pippin, Ph.D., State University of New York at Oswego, has studied the provisioning and frontier economy of the British military and displaced Loyalists during the American Revolution. His fieldwork includes digs at historic Fort Haldimand on the St. Lawrence River and at Loyalist settlements in the Exuma Islands in the Bahamas.

  • Dive the Seaway Trail and the Discover Clean & Safe Boating campaign are among the public education initiatives developed by New York Sea Grant Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist Dave White. He is a BoatUS Foundation Environmental Leadership Commendation award-winner and, in spring 2012, was among the invitation-only guests at the White House Community Leaders Briefing on the Great Lakes Region.

  • Captain Jeff Garnsey is a third generation fishing guide in Clayton, NY, where his family has resided for nine generations. A deck hand at age 10, he later joined the U.S. Naval Submarine Service. After 26 years of duty, Jeff retired to operate Garnsey’s Classic Island Cruises for anglers and those who just want to see the beauty of the 1000 Islands region of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail. His family history includes a bit of rumrunning during Prohibition.

  • Erie Maritime Museum Education Programs Coordinator Linda Bolla has been affiliated with the U.S. Brig Niagara, and Erie Maritime Museum since its inception. She has helped design, create, and develop the Museum’s permanent exhibits, public events, and interpretive and educational programs, most recently a seven-part Newspapers in Education series in the Erie Times News and the Museum’s current West Wing Gallery exhibit, The Erie-Extension Canal: Gateway to the Great Lakes.

  • Ed Bolla has volunteered with the U.S. Brig Niagara and Erie Maritime Museum for more than 25 years.  He currently serves with the Museum's Education Committee and as coordinator of Living History Programming. He has helped design and develop Museum exhibits and the current Guide Training Program. Over the years Ed has given presentations on the Battle of Lake Erie and other aspects of the U.S. Navy in the War of 1812 at historic sites and history conferences in both the United States and Canada. 

The April 13 day-long program agenda also includes a presentation on scuba diving and the fascinating collection of Lake Erie shipwrecks.

Pre-registration for the event is requested by April 10, 2013; the $50 pre-registration admission includes lunch; walk-ins, as space allows, $65. Register online at or call 315-646-1000 x203.
This program is part of the Great Lakes Underwater Series. 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. Maritime heritage-rich destinations on the byway include the Erie, PA, Bayfront, 30 historic lighthouses, Niagara Falls, the Inner Harbors at Buffalo, Rochester, the 1000 Islands, and the St. Lawrence Seaway. Learn more at

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: has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube links. NYSG also offers a free e-list sign up via for NY Coastlines, its flagship publication, and Currents, its e-newsletter supplement, each distributed 3-4 times a year.

Home *  What is NYSG? *  Research *  Extension *  Education *  News & Events *  Publications
  Grants & Policies * Staff * NYSG Sites *  Related Sites * (631) 632-6905

Problems viewing our Site? Questions About our Site's Social Media / Other Features? - See Our Web Guidelines

For NYSG Staff ... Site Administration