Great Lakes Underwater 2012 Makes a Splash on September 8
Great Lakes Shipwrecks - Press Release
Great Lakes Underwater Presents Historic Weather, Shipwrecks, Scuba & Paddlers Program September 8


Great Lakes Seaway Trail Project Manager Lynette Lundy-Beck, 315-646-1000 x203,

Dave White, New York Sea Grant, Recreation/Tourism Specialist, P: 315.312.3042, E:

Oswego, NY, August 13, 2012 - On Saturday, September 8, the Great Lakes Seaway Trail and New York Sea Grant will present Great Lakes Underwater at the Clayton Opera House, Clayton, NY. The 12pm-5pm program, co-sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service, features four distinct speakers focused on history, shipwrecks and innovative technology for boaters.
The September 8 program includes the following presentations:
  • “Historic Weather Patterns Impact on Lake Ontario Shipwrecks” with National Weather Service Forecaster Robert Hamilton

  • “Between Two Nations: The British on Carleton Island (Fort Haldimand) from the American Revolution to the War of 1812” with Douglas J. Pippin, Ph.D., historical archaeology professor at SUNY Oswego

  • Underwater explorer Jim Kennard on his “Discovery of the HMS Ontario” using deepwater sonar scanning to find the 80-foot-long, 22-gun sloop-of-war that sunk in 1780 in Lake Ontario on her way to Fort Haldimand

  • “The Great Lakes Seaway Trail Blueway Water Trail & Innovations in Technology for Boaters, Canoeists and Kayakers” with New York Sea Grant Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist Dave White. Learn how new and future tools and apps based on the Great Lakes Observing System will benefit water trail users.
“We are pleased to present this great lineup of speakers to encourage diving, shipwreck and history enthusiasts and weather-watchers to drive the Great Lakes Seaway Trail to learn more about the only-found-here resources,” Great Lakes Seaway Trail President and CEO Mike Bristol said.
The event will run 12pm-5pm at the Clayton Opera House, 405 Riverside Drive, Clayton, NY, with vendors, information exhibits and networking time.
This Great Lakes Underwater theme program makes the start of a new Great Lakes Seaway Trail Byway-Blueway Seminar Series.
Pre-registration is requested and has been extended to September 7. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors age 62 or older and retired military with ID, $5 for children under 14, and free Blue Star admission for active military with ID. Day of the event seating is $15 for any remaining seats. This is a Yellow Ribbon event. For more information and to register, visit or call 315-646-1000 x203.
The 518-mile-long Great Lakes Seaway Trail is noted for its maritime history, shipwrecks and 30 lighthouses. Travel themes for this National Scenic Byway also include the War of 1812, natural history and birdwatching, coastal recreation, agricultural bounty, cultural heritage and quilting, architecture, and four seasons of fun. Learn more at

Photo collage includes the HMS Ontario as a model, the ship's actual underwater stern (insert, upper left) and Great Lakes Underwater 2012 speaker Jim Kennard (insert, lower right). Photo courtesy of Kara Lynn Dunn.

Robert “Bob” Hamilton is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service at Buffalo, NY. He 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 HMS Ontario at the spring 2012 Great Lakes Meteorological Operational Workshop in Chicago.
Douglas J. Pippin is an historical archaeologist who has studied the provisioning and frontier economy of the British military and displaced Loyalists during the American Revolution. He had conducted fieldwork at Fort Haldimand and at Loyalist settlements in the Exuma Islands in the Bahamas. He received his doctoral degree at Syracuse University.

Jim Kennard, known as “the Jacques Cousteau of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail,” has been featured in such publications National Geographic and Sea Technology magazines for the 200-plus rare and historic shipwrecks he has discovered in numerous waters in his 40-year career. The HMS Ontario is considered an “underwater Holy Grail.”

Dave White, a New York Sea Grant recreation and tourism specialist, has created several educational initiatives, including the “Dive the Seaway Trail” project. His Discover Clean & Safe Boating campaign earned White a BoatUS Foundation Environmental Leadership Commendation. This spring, he was among the invitation-only guests at the White House Community Leaders Briefing on the Great Lakes Region.

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