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NYSG Brings Boating Safety to NYC's City of Water Day
NYC - News

New York Sea Grant's Discover Clean & Safe Boating Campaign Expands in 2013, Reaching NYC for the First-Time on the heels of being at Hudson River's Clearwater Festival last month

U.S. Coast Guard Provides Recreational Boating Statistics via Web

Contact: Paul C. Focazio, Web Content Manger, New York Sea Grant, P: 631.632.6910, E: Paul.Focazio@stonybrook.edu

Note to media: Clean and Safe Boats, as well as campaign developer Dave White, will be on-hand all-day at City of Water Day on Governor's Island. Please contact Paul C. Focazio (listed above) to prep for on-site video demonstrations/interviews, pre-event sound bytes/print interviews or any other inquires.

New York, NY, July 8, 2013

Who/When … The Metropolitan Waterfront Alliances is hosting the City of Water Day Festival (www.cityofwaterday.org) on Saturday July 20th between 10am - 4pm. Each year, MWA works with its 650 Alliance partners, including New York Sea Grant (NYSG) (www.nyseagrant.org/nyc), to help organize the event’s educational waterfront activities, presentations and displays.

This year, NYSG is expanding its outreach at the event's Governors Island location to broaden its appeal to the mass audience. So, in addition to offering some recent publications - on rip currents, severe storms/hurricanes, postcards promoting our e- and print newsletters (Currents www.nyseagrant.org/ecurrents and NY Coastlines www.nyseagrant.org/nycoastlines, respectively) - we'll be adding a new feature to our display - The 2013 Discover Clean and Safe Boating campaign.

NYSG is one of 33 Sea Grant programs nationwide funding coastal research, education and extension efforts federally through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and statewide through the State University of New York and Cornell University.

What … City of Water Day is a free, family-friendly day-long celebration (10 am - 4 pm) with a carnival-like atmosphere that helps to get people better plugged into the waters surrounding Manhattan and the NY metro area through engagement - namely, by providing them with  trips on kayaks, boats and other watercraft. There's a common thread here on issues of public access, recreation and boating safety. See the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance's 2013 City of Water Day Waterfront Activities Fair Web page for more information. Also, see MWA's 2013 City of Water Day Free Boat Tours List.

Last July, NYSG's Web Content Manager Paul C. Focazio represented the program at the event, providing attendees with postcards and fact sheets on rip currents education, hurricane/storm surge research and social media outreach.

Where … Last year, 25,000 people took part in the festival – up to 20,000 on Governors Island and another 5,000 in NJ’s Liberty State Park. In addition to these two locations, there are well over two dozen locations throughout the New York-New Jersey Harbor region taking part in City of Water Day (see the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance's 2013 City of Water Day location list for more details).

In addition to NYSG's interactive boating safety campaign display and the demonstrations from other MWA alliance partners, here's just a sample of what's lined up for City of Water Day:

... at Liberty State Park:
  • On-water kayaking demos
  • Spotting scopes for viewing the harbor
  • Train models showing shipping and travel across the harbor
  • Ecology, water, and environmental projects for kids
... at Governors Island:
  • A cardboard kayak race
  • On-water rowing demonstrations and lessons
  • Live oysters in an estuarium tank
  • Kids' experiments with solar panels and mini-solar race cars
  • Fishing boats and canoes on display
  • Disney's TRYathlon Road Tour is designed to inspire millions of kids and families to get up, get outside, and get active.  Kids will compete in a one-of-a-kind TRYathlon that tests their skills, fosters teamwork, and allows them to discover new ways to challenge themselves. 

View Larger Map - Governors Island

View Larger Map - Liberty State Park

Why … Each year since 2010, the Discover Clean and Safe Boating campaign has made stops at over a half dozen boat shows in central and western New York as well as the Hudson Valley (eg. Clayton and Oswego to Skaneateles, Seneca Falls and Syracuse).

During these stops, NYSG has received well over a total of 2,500 New York residents to take the Clean and Safe Boating Pledge. But now, for the first time, the campaign is traveling further down the Hudson to New York City to attract a larger audience.

The visual component of this campaign is a 16-foot ‘made in New York’ Grumman fishing boat and Ontario II canoe that are both equipped with all the gear required and recommended for clean, safe, and legal boating on New York waters. This year, the campaign’s focus is on educating anglers and paddlesports enthusiasts about how to be safe on the water and how they can help reduce the spread of aquatic invasive species.

Two NYSG specialists (Dave White and Nordica Holochuck) will be joining NYSG's Web Content Manager, Paul C. Focazio, this year – they focus on recreation/tourism (White) and the Hudson River estuary (Holochuck).

In the first few years alone, news of this campaign undertaken by NYSG and its partners received over 320 mentions by the media, from online sources (eg., WatertownDailyTimes.com) to print (eg. Boating Industry News), radio (eg., WAER, a Syracuse, NY-based National Public Radio station) and television segments (eg., ABC-affiliate Syracuse-based Channel 9 WSYR).

From May through October each year, New York Sea Grant Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist Dave White films television segments for Your News Now, a 24-hour news network in Central New York that reaches nearly 600,000 cable subscribers across a 25-county, 15,000 square mile area. Monthly mainstream television and radio spots could be seen and heard from January through December in the Watertown, NY market. Also, sporadic television and radio segments appeared in Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo markets as topics warranted. Photo: Paul C. Focazio, NYSG

New York Sea Grant Hudson Estuary Specialist Nordica Holochuck (pictured above) welcomed NYSG's Clean and Safe Boat to "her neck of the woods," as its related campaign extended its reach to recreational users beyond New York's Great Lakes region this year. Photo courtesy of Nordica Holochuck, NYSG

Last July, New York Sea Grant's Web Content Manger Paul C. Focazio (pictured above) provided attendees of MWA "City of Water Day" harbor festival on Governors Island with postcards and fact sheets promoting our social media, educating on rip currents and storm surges. Photo: Kathy Lubner

The 16-foot fishing boat and canoe (pictured above) will be on display at this year's City of Water Day. Photo: Dave White, NYSG

From the Central New York Boat Show in mid-Febrary through the summer months, the 2013 Discover Clean and Safe Boating campaign educates boaters about all the gear required and recommended for legal, safe and environmentally-friendly boating on New York's waters. "Our focus in 2013 is also on educating anglers and paddlesports enthusiasts about how to be safe on the water and how they can help reduce the spread of aquatic invasive species," says campaign developer New York Sea Grant Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist Dave White.

For more information on this year's campaign, which stretches from Oswego to, for the first time, New York City, see NYSG's April 2013 news item, "Clean and Safe Boating Campaign Launches." This news item features several YouTube clips from events held earlier in 2013, including February's Central New York Boat Show. Held in Syracuse, this New York’s largest and oldest boat show, with more than 500 power, sail and sport boats, personal watercraft, water recreation equipment, marine accessories and services, and docks on display in three buildings.

At the CNY Boat Show, New York Sea Grant's Dave White and others gave in-water demonstrations on the various types of life-saving floatation devices and canoe rollover safety tips. Left to right at the 2012 show: US Coast Guard E-4 Boatswain’s Mate Nicole Brooks, US Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 21 Syracuse Vice Commander Dan Welch, and NYSG Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist Dave White. Photo: Brian P. Whattam

YouTube Playlist of Clips from CNY Boat Show:

About 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 NY Coastlines, its flagship publication, and Currents, its e-newsletter supplement, each distributed several times a year.

U.S. Coast Guard's Recreational Boating Statistics:
For more, see USGC's Boating Safety Resource Center at www.uscgboating.org.
(Accident Statistics at www.uscgboating.org/statistics/accident_statistics.aspx)

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