NY Sea Grant Specialist Dave White Honored as NASBLA Northern States Boating Educator of the Year
Great Lakes Boating & Marine Trades - News


Katherine Bunting-Howarth, New York Sea Grant Extension Associate Director, Ithaca, NY, P: 607-255-2832, , E: keb264@cornell.edu

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

New York Sea Grant Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist Dave White, standing right, built a partnership with US Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary personnel to offer in-water life jacket and paddlesport safety demonstrations in the farm pond at Empire Farm Days (EFD), the largest outdoor agricultural trade show in the Northeastern United States. The 2015 partnership at EFD included the New York State Office of Parks Marine Division.

Ithaca, NY, September 16, 2015. The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, or NASBLA, recognized New York Sea Grant Extension Recreation Specialist David G. ‘Dave’ White as the Northern States Boating Educator of the Year at its 2015 conference in Wichita, KS, this week.

White was recognized for his excellence in boating safety programming by the 20-state Northern Caucus of NASBLA.

“Dave White has advanced the role of boater safety education in the mission of keeping our waterways safe and creating a safe, enjoyable recreational boating opportunity for everyone,” said Adam Gormely, chairman of the NASBLA Northern Caucus, and a Lieutenant with the Maine Warden Service, Gray, Maine.

“Dave White exemplifies the spirit of partnership that benefits all participants, from agencies and academic institutions to citizen groups and private enterprise and most of all the public. His passion, energy and innovation for educating the public about boating safety is unmatched,” said New York Sea Grant Extension Associate Director Katherine Bunting-Howarth, Ithaca, NY.

White celebrated his 30th year of public service with New York Sea Grant in 2014. He also serves as Associate Director of the Great Lakes Research Consortium. He is a graduate of SUNY Morrisville, Cornell University, and the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. White has been a volunteer boating safety instructor certified in NY since 1985.

White has most recently worked with diverse educational and marine industry partners to develop New York maritime history and coastal science technology exhibits for the Great New York State Fair in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

White is also a recipient of a BOATUS Foundation Environmental Leadership Commendation and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Wear It! Award.

Wear It! Award: New York Sea Grant Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist Dave White, right, accepts a Coast Guard Auxiliary Wear It Award from USCGA Flotilla 2-1 Commander John Steinbarge. White is wearing a cold water survival suit demonstrated as part of a NYSG public education program on life jackets.

NYS Parks will honor White at a September 30 program to be held at 1:30 pm in the Gallery at SUNY Plaza, 353 Broadway, Albany. Those who would like to help honor NYSG's Dave White are invited to attend. Please RSVP to WearItNewYork@parks.ny.gov by September 25. "While I was honored and humbled to receive this award that bears my name," says White, "I was most proud to accept it because it was awarded based on all of the good work that has been done with partners, colleagues and friends. To say thank you seems but a small gesture, but to say that as partners we have reached hundreds of thousand of boaters (and potential boaters) in just the past month alone is what it's all about."

More Info: How White Earned This Award
NYS Parks Marine Services Bureau Education Specialist Ro Woodard says, “As both a professional and a volunteer, Dave has had single-minded determination for improving boater safety. He has skillfully integrated the boating safety message into a diversity of New York Sea Grant programming from seminars and safety courses to informational exhibits, life jacket demonstrations and media outreach.”

White conceived, developed and coordinates the award-winning New York Sea Grant Discover Clean and Safe Boating campaign in 2008. As of August 2015, more than half a million boaters and potential boaters have been educated by the campaign that enjoys the support of marine industry partners including the Boating Industries Association of Upstate New York.

“Dave has networked with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and regional Power Squadron personnel and other federal, state, industry and local agencies in publicly-accessible boating education programs, and that translates to saving lives,” says Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 2-2 Commander and Public Affairs Officer Gene Little.

The programming developed by White has included boating safety messages customized for a diversity of specific audiences, including anglers, deaf boaters, and NY emergency services personnel responding to cold water rescue calls. In February 2014, Oswego City firefighters who attended the cold water rescue training at the Central NY Boat Show Boat Show credited that training with helping them save a life.

White has partnered with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, U.S. Power Squadron, and NYS Parks Marine Services Bureau to offer in-water safety demonstrations at events including in a pool at the Central NY Boat Show in February and in the farm pond at Rodman Lott and Son Farms at Empire Farm Days in August.

“Dave White takes a come-aboard, all-in approach to educating the public of all ages about boating safety and that is a powerful way to engage people in learning how to protect themselves, their families, and their boating industry customers,” says Central NY Boat Show Manager Andrew Wickham.

Boating Industries Association Executive Director Barb Caster notes, “Dave encouraged our marina and dealership members to take the New York State Boating Safety Course and to encourage their customers to do likewise.”

Since 2011, White has reached more than half a million viewers via Discover Better Boating educational segments on Time Warner Cable News covering 25 NY counties.

Dave White, 2nd from right, developed a partnership that included the Coast Guard Auxiliary and NYS Parks Marine Division for water safety education at the 2015 Empire Farm Days event in Seneca Falls, NY, in August. With White are, left to right, Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 2-2 Commander Gene Little, NYS Parks Marine Services Bureau Education Specialist Ro Woodard, and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry graduate student Daniel Rockefeller.

More Info: New York Sea Grant

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: www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube links. NYSG also offers a free e-list sign up via www.nyseagrant.org/coastlines for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published several times a year.

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