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On Air: Enjoying the Outdoors Safely This Winter
Great Lakes Boating & Marine Trades - News

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

Syracuse, NY, December 4, 2020 - Winter may be here soon but there are still plenty of people who like to enjoy the outdoors and waterways even in chillier weather. 

New York Sea Grant (NYSG) Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist Dave White has some tips as we head into the cooler season. 

That's what New York Sea Grant Recreation and Tourism Specialist Dave White shared during a boating segment that aired on several 93Q programs, including Street Talk and Ted and Amy in the Morning. 93Q broadcasts on WNTQ-FM in the greater Syracuse region. 

The 8 and 1/2 minute segment, which can be streamed below, airs at around 17 seconds into the broadcast and runs until around 8 minutes 47 seconds.

You can listen to White's full conversation on 93Q ...

If you don't see the player above, it's because you're using a non-Flash device (eg, iPhone or iPad). You can download the mp3 file by clicking here (mp3). It may take a few minutes to download, so please be patient.


Full Transcript:

[00:00:03] Welcome to Street Talk, a public affairs presentation of Cumulus Media aired on our Cumulus stations and Syracuse. Street Talk is a weekly show keeping you in touch with the individuals and organizations that work for and serve our community. We're your hosts Ted and Amy. Well, winter may be here soon, but there are still plenty of people who like to enjoy the outdoors and waterways, even in chillier weather. Dave White is with New York Sea Grant and he has some tips as we head into the cooler season. [00:00:30]

[00:00:30] It is. And you know, as I sit here now and I'm seeing, you know, snow falling outside, I kind of refer to this time of year as we plan for the over, under, around and through. And for those that don't remember, that used to be how we learned to tie our shoes. But it really relates to our waterways as well. Many of us are still, you know, over the open water. We're going to be boating throughout the winter. Actually, you know, we have a lot of dive folks that go out and actually do underwater diving. You know, folks that, you know, are on them, you know, out ice fishing or snowmobiling on top of the frozen [00:01:00] water. And the one that you don't want to do is go through the ice. And so we all have to be thinking about winter recreation, the safety aspects of it. But then also, how does COVID fit into our winter recreation? And I'm with you. We had a great, great boating year. I think we're going to have an awesome winter recreation here because it's a great family activity to get out and it's very COVID-friendly.

[00:01:23] Well, and when we were discussing boating in the fall, even it was just bad. Safety procedures mean even more [00:01:30] and I would think even more so as we get older.

[00:01:34] They do. And, you know, we have to be thinking about hypothermia. You know, obviously, if you're in any open water, you have to have a life jacket on at all times. When you're on a boat of any type under 21 feet, everybody has to have it on. That's just a good safety practice. You know, me, you and I have talked before. I am a huge fan of a float suit or a float coat, which is either almost it's like a ski jacket or a snowmobile suit with a life jacket built right in. They're great [00:02:00] Christmas gifts as people are thinking about what they might need. So if you do ever fall through, you know you're going to be well protected. They're usually a very bright color. You can actually seal the cuffs to keep the water that you do get in warm, which really extends your survivability, you know, and obviously having the life jacket on, if you are ever, you know, on open water or ice. And I always get concerned because we always hear about the snowmobile that might go through or ice fisher who fell through. You know, you have to take care and prepare yourself [00:02:30] until those folks can get to you and rescue you out of that cold water, especially if hypothermia starts to set in. So by having that life jacket on or the float coat or float suit, it really provides that additional protection that you're going to need to have when you're out on the water for any purpose. And a lot of ice fishermen go out by a snowmobile. So there's, you know, lots of combinations out there.

[00:02:50] Yeah. And it seems like I mean, once things get cold, I feel like that's safer than maybe as it gets colder, but then it melts. And there's some areas that may not be [00:03:00] safe. I mean, I always get nervous about that when we have a couple of crazy warm days because that kind of throws things off.

[00:03:07] It really does. And, you know, I think we're going to see a lot of new people coming into our winter recreation sports, which is absolutely wonderful. And, you know, there's a wealth of information online, you know, if you're snowmobiling or if you're getting involved in, you know, side by side ATV, you know, the safety courses are all online, just like they were for boating. So, you know, take that opportunity to go online, take the safety course, [00:03:30] learn all those precautions, make sure you have all the safety gear on board. Again, as we talk about this, you know, having a safety kit with you, if you're cross-country skiing, have that safety kit in your snowmobile, you know, glove box or storage unit. So having all that safety gear and also part of your safety gear now it's just like your car or when you're at home, have all your COVID supplies, have your masks, have your sanitizer. Because although these a lot of times are individual activities or direct family activities, many of us, you know, we might [00:04:00] be out there and get a little cold. So we'll want to go inside someplace warm and maybe have a beverage to help warm us up, which means we're now going inside. So it's masking, social distancing. All those COVID precautions don't end because it's cold weather. You know, when we're outside doing the activity, it's very safe, which is wonderful. They're very COVID-friendly. But many of us do end up going inside at some point during that day. So make sure you have all your gear with you, you know, for COVID as well. And, getting back to the waterways, [00:04:30]

[00:04:30] I mean, sometimes even if it looks safe, even if it looks like the ice is thick enough, sometimes it's not. So that's really something that you have to check before you put yourself in any danger.

[00:04:41] Absolutely. And, you know, almost any water where you're going to go out on this winter. The nice thing is all of our bait and tackle shops, all of our marine dealers, service and supplies, they're all open, you know. So if you're going someplace new or you're just not sure, those folks are checking every day ice thickness, you know, and sometimes there are [00:05:00] different parts of waterbodies that may not be as safe. And again, you look at and go, oh, look at that ice, it's great, and then you go and take that first step. And, you know, it's only maybe two or three inches thick. So, you know, taking advantage of the great marine and winter businesses that we have right along the shore, stop in in the morning on the way in. I mean, a lot of them are open early and say, hey, how's the where is that the safest to go? I'm going to be walking on. I'm going to be taking my, you know, my side by side. I'm going to be going out on a snowmobile, whatever it might be. We [00:05:30] have some of the greatest, you know, marine and recreation businesses in the country here. They are there for the customer. They want the customer to have a fun, safe day. It's what I love working about our recreational industries here. They want to make sure everyone is safe, you know, but fun. And those two go hand in hand. So, you know, stop by the local, you know, marine business or recreation business, that ski shop, whatever it might be, you know, and just chat with the folks there are more than happy to help you out. Even if you're not buying something, they want to make sure you're going to have a safe day [00:06:00] out on top of the water or if you're going under the water, one or the other.

[00:06:03] And I mean, you mentioned the courses online, but this might be a great opportunity for families to take them when they have a little time inside and maybe they're not doing, you know, the snowmobiling or the ice fishing, but hopefully boating season will be back before, you know, and then they can be all qualified to do it next year, right?

[00:06:20] Absolutely. So go online to State Parks, take the snowmobile course, print out the manual so you have this print out the book. The ATV courses [00:06:30] is online. So, you know, again, you know, I move it up to, you know, our partners in the State Parks in NYSDEC they're there to help everybody have fun. And, you know, people laugh when I say that, you know, safety is part of fun because if you've got the safety gear with you, you've got that safety knowledge, as either the lead operator of the snowmobile, or, you know, you're leading the cross-country group across, you know, a body of water, whatever it might be. You know, the safer you are, the more fun you're going to have because you don't have to be thinking about that throughout [00:07:00] the day so that, you know, that 15 minutes of preparation can last an entire day of everybody having fun, being safe, coming back, you know, making sure they're COVID-free, making sure they've had just that wonderful day.

[00:07:11] And it's a great all of these things are great family activities, whether you're going to do cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, ice fishing, you know, snowmobiling, you know, pick your recreation of the day. But I think this year it's going to be great and be thinking now about maybe, you know, those new Christmas gifts for the family to [00:07:30] take advantage of the winter. You know, we're we're always housebound in the wintertime unless we've got these great recreational opportunities to take advantage of. So now is the time better than ever? Just a sidebar. You know, a lot of kids are going to be home. I mean, they are home now doing, you know, you know, at home virtual learning. And, you know, unfortunately, we're probably going to see that occur more often than not throughout the winter months. What a great gym activity to be able to go out even in your own yard with a pair of cross-country skis, you know, even, you know, go rent the snowmobile. [00:08:00] So taking the family out and getting them outside during the month, we're going to be trapped in. COVID is no excuse for not getting outside. It's back. It's a wonderful opportunity to get the kids outside, you know, get them that activity that they need, you know, and you can rent skis. You can you know, there's places you can rent snowmobiles. So even if you don't want to buy, there's great opportunities to be looking at to get out there. All of our parks that have trails in them, a lot of them will rent skis as well to get out and enjoy, you know, all of the great county [00:08:30] and state parks that we have in the area. So, you know, as always, I get excited about this stuff, but even during COVID, don't let that stop you. These are great opportunities to take advantage of with those smart COVID things, with taking the course, with having the right safety gear.

[00:08:44] Find out more at www.seagrant.sunysb.edu

White's NYSG "Boating and Marine Trades" content can be found at www.nyseagrant.org/marina. He also has information on Great Lakes shipwrecks at www.nyseagrant.org/shipwreck.

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 34 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, University at 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.

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