On YouTube, On Air: NYSG Makes a Splash at NY State Fair
Great Lakes Shipwrecks - News

The NOAA Coastal Science Program and Its Partners Educate on Shipwrecks, Clean Boating, Aquatic Invasive Species

Syracuse, NY, September 5, 2014 - New York Sea Grant was at the 2014 New York State Fair, which ran from August 21 – September 1, for a partnership effort to educate fairgoers on some of the history that took place right in their own backyards with the ‘Great Shipwrecks of NY’s Great Lakes’ exhibit.

Nearby, NYSG's Launch Steward Program and U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary offered the 10-foot ‘mouse boat’ that is the 2014 New York Sea Grant Discover Clean and Safe Boating education vessel on exhibit. Stewards and Auxiliary representatives educated visitors about safe boating and diving and how boaters can use the easy Clean/ Drain/Dry watercraft inspection method to help slow the spread of aquatic invasive species.

For all of NYSG's news during the Fair's run, check out the "News" section at www.nyseagrant.org/shipwreck.

Here are some of the video and audio clips collected from media sources that covered the event ...

New York's Maritime History at NYS Fair
Time Warner Cable News, Watertown/North Country, NY
Story Filed: Sunday, August 31, 2014

You can take a close up walk through New York's maritime history at the Great New York State Fair.

It's a story that dates back to when the Dutch first settled in what is now New York City in the 1600s. Most of our earliest shipwrecks date back to the French and Indian War, during the mid-1700s.

“That’s a period where we can really begin to identify them. You can put dates on them," said Dave White, a NY Sea Grant Recreation specialist.

There's a lot to learn about New York's History through shipwrecks, particularly because those in our fresh water lakes are preserved almost exactly as the day they sank.

“Everyone of them provides a history. Each one of them provides a story of our growth and development," said White.

But it's not always easy to figure out the history of each wreck.

"It’s not like today where there’s name plates and these kinds of things that may still be there," said White. “Just like you would do on land to do an archaeological assessment, with some of these very historical wrecks, you have to do the same thing, only underwater."

There are an estimated 10,000 wrecks at the bottom of New York's lakes and rivers. Most of them went down because of weather or war.

“When you start to think about a lot of the communities we have on the lakes, their history and development is because of their maritime location. If you look at the French and Indian War, if you look at the War of 1812, you look at any one of the skirmishes we’ve had, our ports and harbors were critically important because of water transport and the ability to move troops and the ability to move people. New York really was that hub that everything emerged from," said White.

With the creation of the Erie Canal in the 1880s... the state saw a massive influx of water travel as the economy boomed.

"It was the original thruway people used, whether they were coming through the St. Lawrence River, whether they were coming up the Hudson River and then obviously the Erie Canal opened up the entire country through the connected bodies of water and then into the Mississippi. The growth and development of our country, we can really find and capsulate it in the shipwrecks and the artifacts we find there," said White.

That history is captured in an exhibit at The Great New York State Fair, called “The Great Shipwrecks of New York State’s “Great” Lakes.”

It features 12 of the state's most famous wrecks.

“There’s really three that people talk about when we talk about prime wrecks. We talk about The Ontario which is a significant wreck that went down in Lake Ontario. There’s the Land Tortoise which is in Lake George, which is the oldest in-tact warship in North America. And there’s Benedict Arnold’s gun boat which is on the bottom of Lake Champlain, some of those are accessible to divers. Some are not because they’re in deeper water," said White.

While a lot of history sits below the surface of New York's waterways, to this day, those same lakes and rivers continue to shape our great state and steer the path for our future.

The Shipwrecks exhibit will be at the NYS Fair through Monday, when the fair wraps up.The tent is located in between the Art and Home Center and the State Park at the Fair.

Shipwreck Exhibit at NYS Fair Shows State's Place in Maritime History
WAER 88.3 FM, a Syracuse Public Media Station
Story Filed: Friday, August 29, 2014

Hard hat dive gear from 1945. Photo: Scott Willis, WAER News

Visitors to the New York State Fair might have noticed and even stopped by a large tent near the reflecting pool filled with information and artifacts about the state’s place in maritime history.  Dave White with the New York Sea Grant helped put together the exhibit, which is new at this year’s fair.  He says it features information about and artifacts from just a few of the shipwrecks in New York’s great lakes and inland waters, including the Finger Lakes, and Lakes Champlain and George.

NY Sea Grant's Dave White says the exhibit is a great place to explore shipwrecks without going under water.
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.

There’s even a replica of an 18th century bateau, an example of a vessel used during the French and Indian war.  State Fair spokesperson Dave Bullard says there are almost too many shipwrecks to count.

NYS Fair spokesperson Dave Bullard says there might be more shipwrecks in New York's waters than you expect.
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.

The exhibit also features scuba-equipped mannequins showing how diving gear has evolved since the 1950’s.  Twice a day at 2 and 4 p.m., researchers demonstrate the use of a remotely operated underwater vehicle, or ROV in the nearby reflecting pool.  And kids under 12 can dig into a treasure chest at 11 a.m.  and 1 p.m.  Numerous organizations contributed to the exhibit, which is in the state park in front of the horticulture building. 

The Great Shipwrecks of NY's "Great" Lakes
WSYR ABC 9 Syracuse
Story Filed: Thursday, August 28, 2014

Andrew Donovan is at the New York State Fair with Dave White from NY Sea Grant. They're out on the water for a look at the Great Shipwrecks of NY's Great Lakes exhibit.

Sea Grant Plans Shipwreck Exhibit At State Fair
WWNY News 7, a CBS affiliate station; WNYF News 28, a Fox affiliate station. Syracuse, Watertown/North Country, NY
Story Filed: Tuesday, August 19, 2014

New York Sea Grant will be at the New York State Fair this year.

Dave White explained that Sea Grant will have an exhibit on shipwrecks.

No one knows for sure, but there could be as many as 10,000 wrecks in New York waters.

Find out more about the state fair at www.nysfair.org. The fair runs August 21 through September 1.

Great New York State Fair Begins Thursday
Time Warner Cable News, Watertown/North Country, NY
Story Filed: Monday, August 18, 2014

The Great New York State Fair is about to mark its 168th year. But no matter how many times you've walked through the gates, there's always something new to see. Reporter Sarah Blazonis has a look at what you can expect this time around.

With just days to go, excitement builds as preparations wind down.

"Everything's coming together, the construction projects are buttoned up, the vendors are moving in, we're getting everyone hooked up," said Troy Waffner, the NYS Fair acting director.

But look closer at some favorite attractions and you'll notice something different. A new company has taken over the Midway for the first time in decades.

Wade Shows is bringing more than 60 rides to the fair, including two of the three tallest traveling coasters and the largest traveling slide in the U.S.

"We're excited about our line-up. All our concessions are color-coded, the midways are wider, we've got rides that have never been here before," said Frank Zaitshik, the Wade Shows owner.

Officials said a goal of the fair, as always, is to get people better acquainted with the state's agriculture.

The Dairy Cow Birthing Center is one exhibit that does just that and has some changes coming for its second year.

"It was extremely popular. In fact, we quickly outgrew our space last year, so we increased the tent size 40 percent. We've doubled the seating capacity in here to 700 people we can accommodate sitting down," said Jessica Ziehm from the Dairy Cow Birthing Center.

Another old favorite, Safety Town, got a makeover, with updated, interactive displays to teach families about fire safety.

A new underwater exhibit will give fairgoers a look at what divers see and much more. / Photo: TWC News Photo by Tim Robertson

The Great Shipwrecks exhibit is completely new.

"We really tried to pick different ones to really raise awareness with folks about the different maritime history of New York, whether it be a schooner, a bateau," said Dave White, NY Sea Grant.

And while a lot may be new, there's still plenty of traditional fair fun crowds have come to expect.

Officials said they've also added seating, misting stations, and cell phone charging areas to make visitors' fair experience more comfortable.

New York Sea Grant Home *  The Great New York State Fair

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