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In Media: St. Lawrence County Chamber gathering tourism ideas for Lake St. Lawrence
NY Great Lakes Basin Small Grants Program - News

Picnic tables along the Saint Lawrence River in Robert Moses State Park, Massena, NY. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Published by Susan Mende for NNY 360 (Online news by Watertown Daily Times and Northern New York Newspapers)

NOTE: This research is related to a 2019-20 Great Lakes small grant funded through New York Sea Grant and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. The project, "Lake St. Lawrence Tourism Destination Master Planning," is being led by the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce. More on that and other projects in the series at "NY Sea Grant and DEC Award $200,155 to Nine Great Lakes Action Agenda Projects."

Chase Mills, NY, August 8, 2019 - Boosted by a state grant, a work group has been brainstorming ways to make Lake St. Lawrence a year-round tourist destination that draws people to the waterfront communities of Massena, Louisville and Waddington.

The planning process is being funded by a $24,999 New York Sea Grant and state Department of Environmental Conservation award that was received by the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce.

It is among nine community-based projects in the state that will receive a portion of $200,000 in grant money.

County Chamber of Commerce Director Brooke E. Rouse said the planning process involves identifying what assets already exist in the Lake St. Lawrence area that includes Massena, Louisville and Waddington.

The next step involves creating a written inter-municipal plan that identifies tourism and recreational opportunities.

The protected wildlife areas that exist along the St. Lawrence River shoreline creates the potential to attract birders, photographers and artists, she said.

Guided walks, trails for equestrians and cycling paths are possibilities.

“One of the constant things that comes up is that there’s a lot of protected wildlife along the shoreline,” Ms. Rouse said. “We’re trying to find ways to leverage that and see if there’s a niche market for birders, photographers or artists who might enjoy that protected wildlife.”

The region includes Wilson Hill, Robert Moses State Park, Coles Creek State Park and land owned by the New York Power Authority.

The work group started meeting about a month ago and includes Nancy Foster and Kelli Ramsey of Louisville, Jim Murphy of Massena, Jim Thew and Mark Scott of Waddington. County chamber representatives are Ms. Rouse and Jonnie Claeys.

Ideas from the public will be gathered during a community input session scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 22 at the In-Law Brewing Co., 5868 County Route 14, Chase Mills.

Boards will be set up with questions where people can respond by writing down their thoughts. Residents and others those who enjoy Lake St. Lawrence are encouraged to be a part of the process.

Lake St. Lawrence is an artificial lake that was created by flooding on July 1, 1958, after dams and locks were created in the St. Lawrence River for the hydroelectric project.

Ms. Rouse said the plan should be finished by the end of the year and will be designed to help the communities, individually, and as partners, move their tourism initiatives forward. “The plan, once adopted by the three communities, will be a resource for business and community development and be a reference for those seeking private and public funds for various tourism related initiatives,” she said.

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 33 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 Kingston in the Hudson Valley.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, 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. Our program also produces an occasional e-newsletter,"NOAA Sea Grant's Social Media Review," via its blog, www.nyseagrant.org/blog.

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This website was developed with funding from the Environmental Protection Fund, in support of the Ocean and Great Lakes Ecosystem Conservation Act of 2006. 

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