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Great Lakes-Wide Cross-Border
Great Lakes Boating & Marine Trades - Press Release

Great Lakes-Wide Cross-Border Travel Tips for Recreational Boaters Now Available


  • Dave White, New York Sea Grant, 315-312-3042
  • Eleanor C. Mariani, NABA, 860-434-8638
  • Brian Kempf, New York State Boating Law Administrator, 518-474-0445
  • Teresa Mitchell, Seaway Trail, Inc., 315-646-1000

Oswego, NY, June 01, 2009 – To facilitate the most current understanding of Canada-U.S. cross-border travel requirements, including proper forms of identification for person and vessels, New York Sea Grant and the Northern Association of Boating Administrators (NABA), with assistance from U.S. and Canadian border crossing officials, have published the 2009 Great Lakes Cross-Border Travel Tips for Recreational Boaters.

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative deadline of June 1, 2009 has arrived for travelers to have officially recognized documents for international border crossings. The 2009 Great Lakes Cross-Border Travel Tips for Recreational Boaters include:

  • A list of acceptable personal identification documents

  • Contacts for ports of call in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, including 20 ports in NY and 5 in PA

  • Boat trailering and boat safety information sources

  • Know Before You Go and Customs information resources

  • Contacts for applying for a NEXUS card (a form of ID for trustworthy travelers)

  • Travel/vacation information sources for 8 Great Lakes states & Canada.

New York Sea Grant Recreation and Tourism Specialist Dave White says, “This multi-agency partnership has developed a Great Lakes regional resource to help the boating public access the most-current information they need to easily cross between our nations. We want boating travelers to know all their options for having the proper identification to facilitate their crossings.”

The model for the Great Lakes-wide resource is the Cross-Border Travel Tips for Recreational Boaters, RV Owners & Motorists Traveling the Great Lakes Seaway Trail published by New York Sea Grant and the nonprofit tourism organization Seaway Trail, Inc., Sackets Harbor, NY, since 2002. The Great Lakes Seaway Trail is the federally-recognized America’s Byway and National Recreation Trail that parallels the 518 miles of St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, Niagara River, and Lake Erie shoreline in New York and Pennsylvania.

“Having seen the impact of the Seaway Trail edition of the Cross-Border Travel Tips, the Northern Association of Boating Administrators (NABA) is excited to see the expansion to the Great Lakes-wide edition, which includes many of our member states. This brochure will greatly assist recreational boaters from both countries cross the border, thereby enhancing the enjoyment of their boating experience,” says NABA President Eleanor C. Mariani. “We are pleased to be a partner in this.”

Seaway Trail, Inc. President and CEO Teresa Mitchell says, “These Cross-Border Travel Tips are designed to encourage our Canadian neighbors to continue to visit the U.S. for an authentic experience of American life, history, and culture along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail freshwater shoreline and westward. Cross-border visitors bring welcome and needed dollars into our regional economy.”

Both editions of the Cross-Border Travel Tips are maintained online for easy updating and as-needed printing (click here).

More Info/Fast Facts for Cross-Border Travel Tips:
Who/When:  2009 Great Lakes Cross-Border Travel Tips for Recreational Boaters – first published in 2009 by New York Sea Grant and Northern Association of Boating Administrators. Cross-Border Travel Tips for Recreational Boaters, RV Owners & Motorists Traveling the Great Lakes Seaway Trail - published by New York Sea Grant and Seaway Trail, Inc, Sackets Harbor, NY, since 2002
Why: The Tips are designed to facilitate international travel, vacations, and enjoyment of Great Lakes region/Great Lakes Seaway Trail byway recreational, historic, cultural, and natural resources; with resulting positive tourism-based economic gains
How:  The Tips are maintained and updated online (click here).

Recreational Boating Economic Impact Research:
New York Sea Grant commissioned the first study of recreational boating on New York State’s economy in 2003. At that time, Cornell University researchers concluded that the average per boater expenditure was:

  • $1,090 for NY’s Lake Erie

  • $902 for Western Lake Ontario (Niagara, Orleans, Monroe, Wayne counties)

  • $2,133 for Eastern Lake Ontario (Cayuga, Oswego, Jefferson counties)

  • $1,541 for the St. Lawrence River.

  • Statewide, recreational boating activity supported 18,700 jobs.

The full report on Recreational Boating Expenditures in 2003 in New York State and Their Economic Impacts is online (pdf).
Scuba Diving Economic Impact Research:
According to a 1999 New York Sea Grant study, scuba divers add more than $108 million in annual economic impact to New York’s Great Lakes Seaway Trail region.
Recreation and Tourism Specialist David G. White of New York Sea Grant, Oswego, NY, says “Efforts such as the Dive the Seaway Trail project, New York State Blueway, and the Cross-Border Travel Tips published by New York Sea Grant with Seaway Trail, Inc. and the Northern Association of Boating Administrators are facilitating access by Canadian divers interested in exploring the fantastic underwater resources and submerged heritage preserves of the Great Lakes region.”

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