On Air: NYSG's Boating Resources Encourage a Summer of Socially Responsible Boating
Great Lakes Boating & Marine Trades - News


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

Oswego, NY, May 12, 2020 - New York Sea Grant (NYSG) Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist Dave White talks on Finger Lakes Radio about the resources the programs is offering to encourage people to boat in a socially responsible way this summer.

For more on that, see "Boating in NY in 2020: Top 10 Safety Reminders, New Resources."

And listen to White's full conversation on Finger Lakes Radio ...

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Established in 2000, the Finger Lakes Radio Group serves listeners and advertisers in the central Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. Since then, the group has grown to a seven station cluster with studios and offices in Geneva, Auburn, Penn Yan and Canandaigua. Two of those stations (WGVA and WAUB) comprise Finger Lakes News Radio, a CBS Radio News affiliate offering breaking news in the region 24 hours a day.


Full Transcript:

[00:00:03] Good morning, it is 8:16 am on this sunny and somewhat frosty Tuesday morning.

[00:00:12] Not a day to be, well, yeah, wouldn't be bad. I've played golf in colder weather. Nice. Don't think I've gone boating and colder days than this. But good thing is the marinas are open, the boat launches are open. And if you're thinking about boating, you need to be thinking about safety as well. And they're here to talk about that this morning from New York Sea Grant is there a coastal recreation and tourism specialist, Dave White, who we have not talked to since it's gonna be well over a year, I think. Dave, good morning and welcome back.

[00:00:43] Good morning. Thanks for having me back in. Yeah, it has been a while, so it's great. Great to hear your voice live with you. I hear you many times on the radio, but great. Great to be with you again. And talking about some exciting opportunities for folks because there's there there's enough things that are worrying folks right now. But our opportunity get out on the water should not be one of them. And we're headed into safe boating week coming this Saturday and then into Memorial Day. Great opportunity for families to take those next steps to get out and enjoy just the beautiful Finger Lakes area.

[00:01:12] Yeah. Absolutely. And, you know, good timing, I guess. I mean, even though the regions are starting to reopen this weekend, as I mentioned, the boating sort of been ongoing and it's a good chance. But because of the pandemic, you've got to take into account the you know, the safety steps, whether they're legitimate, whether they work or not. Depending on your point of view, the rules are the rules and you're going to have to abide by them that make it so that everybody wants to get out on the water can do so.

[00:01:45] Yeah, I think that's a real important point that you make, Steve, is, you know, is we're going into this and for a little a little period of time there were questions in April about boating access and those things and the industry really came together. The folks that represent the marine trade businesses, the Boating Industry Association right here in upstate New York and others really worked together to ensure that boating access through marinas and through boat launches was continuing. And it's a responsibility now we all have to take. And I like how you said that regardless of your or your thinking of where we're at, we want to make sure that boating is available for everybody. The way I describe boating in the pandemic is think of boating as an extension of your home. So whether you're going out on a paddle board, a kayak,  a canoe, sailboat, rowboat, powerboat, you know, pick your pick your mode of boating, just think of it as an extension of your home. So people that you are homebound with. Those are the folks that can go boating with you as well. And it's a great opportunity. It's a great chance to get out and take advantage right now. The weather starting to turn.

[00:02:48] Thank goodness. And, you know, so.

[00:02:52] So get out there with the family. Get the boat ready. What a great opportunity. Clean the boat. You know, have the family work with you on it and then they'll hook it to the back of the car this weekend. Can take it to the launch ramp, you know, launch it out. Enjoy your day out on the water with the family. And then you're coming back because it's your family unit. And that's why I just I use the term it's an extension of your home. You know, the only people that can go with you right now are your homebound folks that are with you. So that's what we all need to be cautious of because we want to make sure we keep boating access open for everybody.

[00:03:21] And obviously, you know, there are the usual safety rules that the people have to comply with.

[00:03:28] And then we talk about the fact that, you know, the quote unquote social distancing, which obviously could be tough on some smaller watercraft where you are going to need masks, even though there are a lot of people, myself included, that think that the masks don't do it a darn bit of good when you're outdoors because the virus, fortunately, does not survive well, especially now it is supposedly getting warmer. But, you know, as I say, the other thing to remember about is all of the rules. And it really starts with Briana's law.

[00:04:06] It really does. And, you know, the Briana's law is now in place. And, you know, you can go online through the New York State Parks website and you can take an online course. Right now in person courses are paused as are many things. But you can go online and take an online course and get your certifications so that you're ready to go. It does ratchet up between now and 2025 that every motorboat operator in the state of New York will be required to have taken the course and have the certificate. And this is a good time. You know, while you're home quarantined, I'll bet. You know, the thing is, picking these kind of courses at home right now as a family could be a really fun family event for everybody to do, because the whole learning process that goes with it about not only boating safety and understanding what equipment you need to have life jackets and flares and fire extinguishers, but also what invasive species also about, you know, boating ethics. So there's a whole series of lessons than is right within that eight hour course. That is part of students being home. It can also help teach them a lot. And it's a great chance to, as a family, go through it and everybody gets their certification.

[00:05:12] And, you know, we mentioned the pandemic related issues as well. And as you say, consider it an extension of the home. So that means, you know, the mass and the hand sanitizers and everything else, because you can have, you know, the most pristine watercraft on the lake. And there's still a chance that somewhere there may be, you know, the virus kind of hanging around. So you want to be careful.

[00:05:40] You do. And that's the you know, the recommendations that are coming out. And we put it on nice Web site together that has all the information for boaters and marine trade folks is kind of one portal that folks can go to to get the latest information on what is open, what is it open? What are the requirements? What are the recommendations? And that's why right now I'm saying, you know, as we go into phase one and then into phase two is just think of the boat as an extension of your family, not for some folks. You know, the day out on the water is, you know, and, you know, it is me and my friends going fishing. That's where you really need to think about right now. You know, maybe it's just you and the family going fishing or even just yourself, because it's going to be very difficult to do the social distancing and some of those things. And that is still a concern. You know, you really don't want to be thinking about, you know, I've got my two kids and I want to take two of their friends with me. That might be your normal kind of boating opportunity, but we're not in normal times, as they say. So you really want to stick with the family unit. And if you're looking for something just different, you know, because, you know, many folks will say, well, I've always gone to this lake or this river, you know, here in the Finger Lakes. I've always used this boat launch ramp. If you want to mix it up. You're someplace different. You know, they don't mix it up for the family as well.

[00:06:57] Kind of be a different experience for them because it is going to be a different experience, you know, until we get past this a little farther. And that's where as boaters, I'm really recommending to folks, because we have seen this in other states where, you know, folks are seeing the boating public going out there and not following, you know, you know, the recommendations of masks and staying away from each other and not rafting up. And that that's raising concern because then that reason is a community concern. So I think boaters can be a real leader in this, as we're seeing a lot of other recreational pursuits leading the way to say you can really enjoy these recreational opportunities, doing it in a good way, staying away from folks, you know, keeping the family unit together, you know, that kind of thing. So I think boaters can be a great representation for the community as to how we can continue to move forward. We can enjoy these great resources we have here in the Finger Lakes. Yeah, a little differently maybe for a while. This, too, shall pass. Know, as they say, we're going to come out of the other side of it. But while we're all headed towards that other side. Great opportunities. And we really want to get boaters out there. We want to make sure everybody is out enjoying, you know, the resources that we have in the Finger Lakes, because as we all know, there is no better place than the Finger Lakes area to be out on the water with the family enjoying that day. So it's just a great opportunity to take advantage of it.

[00:08:15] And lastly, as far as the marinas being open, are they in a similar situation to retail outlets where they're going to be limited as to what exactly they can offer to the boaters?

[00:08:30] You know, the marina community has really come together statewide, region wide here, and the Finger Lakes area with a lot of leadership from the Boating Industry Association and the Empire State Marine Trades. And it put together we just worked with the industry to put together a 60 page booklet for marinas so that they can help keep all of their customers safe. You know, as a retail outlet, you know, they're a retail outlet on the water. They have to follow all of the retail based rules for distancing and masks, et cetera. But they they've really put together a great plan of operation to make sure that taking care of their customers, they really you know, when you think about it, the marina operation is going to help you get your boat in the water. They're going to help you supply it. They're going to help you service it. Their goal is to help you come to the facility and get out on the water. You know, some of the restrictions may be right at the marina itself where, you know, again, that's gonna be the change of, you know, you can't be hanging around the barbecue with all your on all the boats that are near you in that kind of thing. So it's putting those things in place. But the marina is really an opportunity to make sure your boats are ready, that when you get down there on a Sunday morning, you're getting on, you're going out, you're enjoying the water.

[00:09:33] So marinas are really in the in the front end of this. They'd been working on a plan to make sure they can get you out on the water. Your boats in could shape the providing your gas. They've got the service in case you have an issue. You know, their supply stores are open if you need something in many cases. So they're really in front of this. And it's been really exciting to see them as an industry come together to provide that opportunity to make sure folks can get out on the water. And they really want to help people do that. And they want to help people do that in, you know, in a safe and a normalized safe way of having all the right equipment, you know, making sure you've got the clean boating product on your boat of a bilge sack and using a fuel natural bib. But then also, you know, how can they help you do it during the pandemic to make sure you're really enjoying the water? But we're all doing as part of the community and as part of the good boating community, because it is up to us as boaters to make sure we maintain open access to our water.

[00:10:25] David, I got to cut this short. We've run out of time, but all great news and we'll have links to where we can get more information about boating safely during the pandemic. Thanks for joining us. And we'll talk again soon, we hope.

[00:10:39] Always look forward to it. Steve, you have a great summer out on the water.

[00:10:43] I will definitely try. Dave White from New York See Grant has been our guest. 8:27 am on the Finger Lakes Morning News.

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, 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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