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New State Fair Maritime Exhibit for 2019
Great Lakes Boating & Marine Trades - Press Release

2019 Great New York State Fair visitors will have the opportunity to row a skiff from the Antique Boat Museum on the State Fair Pond. Nearby a mini-marina on land will showcase 100 years of recreational boating vessels. Credit: Antique Boat Museum of Clayton, NY.

Cruising NY’s Waters through the Ages, Skiff Rowing on the Pond


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

Kara Lynn Dunn, Great Lakes Publicist, E: karalynn@gisco.net, P: 315-465-7578

Syracuse, N.Y., August 12, 2019 - Recreational boats spanning the decades since 1913 in a dry-land marina, current-model boats representing modern-day hull and propulsion design, historic lighthouses and shipwrecks exhibits, boating and aquatic science experts, and on-the-State Fair pond skiff rowing opportunities are all part of a new Great New York State Fair Maritime Heritage showcase at the August 21-September 2, 2019 event in Syracuse, N.Y.

The Great New York State Fair, New York Sea Grant, the Boating Industries Association of Upstate New York, and H. Lee White Maritime Museum of Oswego, NY, are sponsoring the “Cruising through the Ages” exhibit organized by New York Sea Grant with several contributing partners. Lead designer is Michael Pittavino, curator, H. Lee White Maritime Museum, Oswego, NY.

Visitors will tour the exhibit on an elevated dock through a multi-slip, land-based mini-marina in the NY Experience area of the NYS Fairgrounds in Syracuse, N.Y. The boats on site will represent more than a century of recreational boating styles and equipment.

“New York Sea Grant is excited to be working with maritime history, recreational boating, and boating safety partners from across New York State to represent more than 100 years of boating development and provide Fair visitors the opportunity to ask experts about boating, water safety, water quality, and aquatic science technology,” said David G. White II, a coastal recreation and tourism and boating safety specialist with New York Sea Grant, Oswego, N.Y.

“This year’s Maritime History exhibit at the Great New York State Fair will inspire visitors to take advantage of all the great water resources we have in New York State and to become informed stewards of those waters,” said New York State Fair Director Troy Waffner.

New York State’s premier maritime history museums providing vintage boats and engines for the exhibit include The Antique Boat Museum, Clayton; the Finger Lakes Boat Museum, Hammondsport; and H. Lee White Maritime Museum, Oswego. 

The family of the late Robert H. Wood, a WWII veteran and career educator in New York State, who organized summer boater safety training on Otisco Lake, has donated his 1967 Playmate runabout at the Fair as the New York Sea Grant Discover Clean and Safe Boating educational vessel for 2019. 

A boat once owned by country music star Alan Jackson is also part of the new exhibit. Contemporary boats from industry partners with locations statewide include electric, propane-powered, stern drive, and outboard models, and a sailboat.

A mini-NYS Fair Maritime Museum will highlight New York State’s historic lighthouses and “Waters of War” maritime history and include a “History of Sturgeon in NY” display from the Cornell Biological Field Station. 

A “NYS Fair Marina Office” will provide a look at the history of boat engines provided by the Finger Lakes Boat Museum; “Clean, Drain and Dry” and safe boating information from New York Sea Grant; and historic NY shipwrecks interpretive panels.

Special demonstration days at the exhibit are as follows:

Thursdays: August 22 and 29:
Ask the Expert: Boating Days: Life jacket and emergency flare demonstrations and Q and A with U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary personnel

Tuesday, August 27:
Ask the Expert: Water Technology Day: See water technology used by the Great Lakes Research Consortium (GLRC) and New York Sea Grant; demonstrations include remotely-operated aquatic research vehicles and aerial drones. A GLRC in-water remote data-sensing buoy will be in the State Fair pond transmitting data to the mini-marina exhibit.

Wednesday, August 28: 
Ask the Expert: Water Quality Day: Ask Great Lakes Research Consortium and College of Environmental Science and Forestry faculty your questions about water quality issues and concerns.

August 23, 26, 29 and 30:
the Great New York State Fair and The Antique Boat Museum will offer free “On the State Fair Pond Skiff Rowing” opportunities; life jackets provided. Stop by the pond in the NY Experience area of the showgrounds for details. 

More Info: 2019 Great New York State Fair Maritime Exhibit Sponsors and Partners

Sponsors: Great New York State Fair, New York Sea Grant, Boating Industries Association of Upstate NY, and H. Lee White Maritime Museum of Oswego, NY

Partners:  Empire Dock & Lift, Baldwinsville, NY; Antique Boat Museum, Clayton, NY; Finger Lakes Boat Museum, Hammondsport, NY; Great Lakes Research Consortium, Syracuse, NY; SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY; Cornell Biological Field Station, Bridgeport, NY; Great Lakes Seaway Trail; Lake Champlain Sea Grant, Plattsburgh, NY, and Burlington, VT; Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT; Smith Boys Marine with locations across NYS; and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary

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, FacebookTwitter, 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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