On YouTube: Lake Ontario Marine Industry Sees Growth in Preparation for Summer Season
Great Lakes Boating & Marine Trades - News

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

Filed by Isabella Colello for ABC 50 Now News

Henderson Harbor, NY, April 21, 2022 — On the shores of Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River and other North Country water bodies lie unique communities driven by seasonal tourism.

Despite many challenges in the past few years, the communities have been driven in part by the marine industry, which has proven to thrive.

An example of this is in Henderson Harbor, a small community in the Eastern Lake Ontario region that is home to several marinas, including Harbor’s End Marina.

Vice President of Operations Michael Miller said the marine industry is unique in many ways but is a great opportunity for the local workforce.

“It’s a great field, especially for people that let’s say are in the snowmobile industry too, you know, they can play in the summer and then work in the summer and then play in the winter or vice versa,” Miller shared.

Jobs in the marine industry range greatly. They can include design work, engineering, mechanical work, sales and marketing, crew hands and more. Skill sets also range but can be easily transferred from the automobile industry and those similar.

Specifically, at Harbor’s End, daily tasks may vary depending on the weather conditions and needs each day.

“A typical day here is we also do rental boats, so we get all the rental boats ready and start checking in their customers; the technicians are already working on projects; the grounds crew are usually mowing lawns or picking up and painting and things like that.”

Combined with the jobs it provides, the marine industry also is a major economic driver in the region, according to New York Sea Grant Recreation Specialist Dave White.

“Especially here in the North Country, we are so water-rich, probably 10 miles from everybody that’s watching and listening right now, there’s a job available for them in the marine industry,” White expressed. “Folks within the boating industry up here are a huge provider and a huge driver of the economic engines for these local communities.”

And this industry has only grown in the past few years during the pandemic and is not expected to stop anytime soon.

“We’ve seen our business really spike because of COVID,” Miller explained. “Everybody had to social distance outside. So everybody was in the market for a boat or used their boat a lot more. We’ve seen boat sales just skyrocket here.”

“I’ve seen boating just grow exponentially in the last few years. I think that’s going to continue to happen because I think the folks that got into boating or came back into boating really enjoyed it,” White added.

“So it really is something that I think we’re going to see grow for at least another two or three years.”

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 and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County on Long Island; at Brooklyn College, with New York City Department of Environmental Protection in Queens and at Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC and Elmsford and Kingston in the Hudson Valley.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, FacebookTwitterInstagram, 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.

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