ROV, Weather Buoy to be in State Park Pond at 2014 Great New York State Fair
Great Lakes Shipwrecks - Press Release


Dave White, New York Sea Grant, Recreation/Tourism Specialist, P: 315.312.3042, E:

Syracuse, NY, August 18, 2014 - The Great Shipwrecks of NY’s ‘Great’ Lakes Signature Exhibit at the 2014 Great New York State Fair will have components in the permanent reflecting pool at the 375-acre Syracuse, NY, fairgrounds. The ‘cement pond’ is part of the State Park, operated by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation at the Fair.

“New York is home to some of the most important and historically significant shipwrecks in the entire country, and this summer our goal is to help educate fair-goers on some of the history that took place right in their own backyards," said David G White, Recreation Specialist at NY Sea Grant, and Associate Director at the Great Lakes Research Consortium. "Our ‘Great Shipwrecks of New York’s Great Lakes’ exhibit will highlight some of this history and bring New Yorkers back in time to when our waters were the most important transportation and strategic defense hubs in our entire nation. We want to take fair-goers on a journey through another place and time, and we can’t wait to show you what’s in store this summer.”

Twice daily at the Fair, at 2pm and 4pm, the Great Lakes Research Consortium and the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry ESF will demonstrate the use of a remotely-operated underwater vehicle/ROV in the pool. Information will be presented on how the high-tech equipment is used to further a science-based understanding of the Great Lakes.

Throughout the 12-day fair (August 21-September 1), a weather buoy equipped with a real-time, 24/7 weather station that will broadcast current weather conditions from the pool. With funding from the Great Lakes Observing System, the U.S. EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and others, the Great Lakes Research Consortium has a series of these real-time monitoring stations located across New York State.

(left) Weather buoy in Great Lakes, Photo: Great Lakes Observing System; (right) Ship’s horn from a shipwrecked tugboat, Photo: H. Lee White Maritime Museum

Visitors to the 30x60-foot Great Shipwrecks of NY’s ‘Great Lakes’ Signature Exhibit tent in the mini-State Park at the Fair will discover:

  • videos and 10 interpretive panels with fascinating details and images of shipwrecks in Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Champlain, the Finger Lakes, Lake George and the St. Lawrence River spanning two centuries

  • a replica 18th-century bateau from the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, an example of a vessel used during the French and Indian War in New York
  • artifacts from the H. Lee White Maritime Museum

  • scuba-equipped mannequins from National Aquatics Service showing how diving gear has evolved since the 1950s.

  • daily 11am-1pm, a Treasure Chest for youngsters under 12 to dig into, and

  • Coastie, the talking safety boat mascot of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

2014 NYSG Discover Clean and Safe Boating education vessel, Photo: Brian P. Whattam

Nearby, the New York Sea Grant Launch Steward Program and U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will have 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 will be educating 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.

"A great deal of the history of New York State can be found underwater and we are pleased to help share some of that history with the people of the state. This will be an exciting and stimulating exhibit. I urge everyone to make time to visit it. You will learn something surprising!," said State Fair Acting Director Troy Waffner.

New York Sea Grant and the Great New York State Fair have developed this Great Shipwrecks of NY’s Great Lakes Signature Exhibit in partnership with the Great Lakes Research Consortium, Lake Champlain Sea Grant, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, H. Lee White Marine Museum, Great Lakes Seaway Trail, and U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Exhibit funding is from a federal National Scenic Byway grant obtained for promoting the 518-mile-long Great Lakes Seaway Trail region by the late tourism leader Teresa Mitchell.

Find more information on the Great New York State Fair at and on the Shipwrecks exhibit at

More Info: 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: has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube links. NYSG also offers a free e-list sign up via for NY Coastlines, its flagship publication, which, in 2014, merges with the program's e-newsletter, Currents. NY Coastlines is published several times a year.

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