On YouTube, On Air: Sea Grant Partners to Discover a Bigger, Better Boating Education Program
Great Lakes Boating & Marine Trades - News

Dave White, New York Sea Grant, Recreation/Tourism Specialist, P: 315.312.3042, E: dgw9@cornell.edu

Note: One of NYSG's 2014 impact statements focuses on the program's various aquatic invasive species education efforts (pdf), including clean and safe boating. Combined, these activities - which reach diverse audiences to engage public participation in prevention and restoration efforts - have involved more than 335,000 New Yorkers and restored over 335 acres.

Oswego, NY, May 15, 2014 - Since it's debut in 2008 at the Boating Industries Association (BIA) of Upstate New York show, the New York Sea Grant (NYSG)-initiated “Discover Clean & Safe Boating” project has become a model industry-partnered educational effort that has expanded from Great Lakes’ venues to sites statewide.

NYSG continues to educate boaters in 2014 on how to be environmentally-friendly, safe and legal on NY waters with its Discover Clean and Safe Boating exhibit which has already been seen by more than 500,000 boaters and potential boaters and has visited major events in all of New York state’s coastal regions from New York City and the Hudson River to Oneida Lake, the Finger Lakes, the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River. 

In 2013, as reported in the Cornell Chronicle (and later tweeted about by Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences), a crowd of around 25,000 descended on New York's Governor's Island and New Jersey's Liberty State Park in late July for the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance's annual water-filic festival filled with free kayaks, boat and other watercraft excursions that helped heighten stewardship of the New York Harbor, the lower Hudson River and other surrounding waterways. In the weeks leading up to the event, NYSG's involvement in the event received interest from New York's WBCS Radio, WNBC and WABC TV and a handful of Facebook posts reached some 2,400 people.

For more, including images from the event as well as tips from and video clips featuring NYSG's recreation and tourism specialist, check out our related news item, "On YouTube, On Air, On Blog: Discover Clean Boating Expands, is at City of Water Day in NYC."

And, on the heels of National Safe Boating Week (May 17-23, 2014), NYSG offers a peak at a new addition to its 2014 clean boating exhibit as well as a Top Ten List designed to help boaters be safe, environmentally-friendly and legal on New York’s recreational waters this season. For more on this, check out our related news item, "NYSG Offers Clean & Safe Boating Tips with 2014 ‘Water Mouse’ Exhibit."

The Campaign's Education Efforts, Accolades and Next Steps

The campaign's pontoon, cruiser, fishing and canoe educational vessels, all provided by New York State manufacturers and local dealers, have been and continue to be equipped with all legally-required and recommended equipment.

"Three things I like to remind people about are: having the right type of life jacket, the right number – one for everyone on board – and the right size, whether it be an adult, child or pet, such as a dog,” said campaign developer Dave White, senior extension associate with New York Sea Grant Extension and NYSG's coastal recreation and tourism specialist.

"This campaign sets the standard for keeping the public current on required safety equipment, environmentally-sound boating practices, and methods to reduce the transport of invasive species," added NYSG's Associate Director Dr. Kathy Bunting-Howarth.

NYSG's Discover Clean & Safe Boating campaign has been recognized and honored for its ability to bolster partnerships between Sea Grant and BIA of Upstate New York as well as boating industry manufacturers and business owners, New York venue/event managers, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and various media outlets.

In recent years, BIA of Upstate NY and NYSG have jointly offered boating safety education at the annual Central New York Boat Show in Syracuse, NY, which has attract families, hearing-impaired boaters, paddlesport enthusiasts, and water rescue First Responders.

This year at the Boat Show, held in mid-February at the New York State Fairgrounds, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary signed on to assist in the offerings, which included young boater safety and first responder cold water survival training courses as well as daily in-water demonstrations of life jackets. To date, NYSG's in-water life jacket/safety demonstrations have educated more than 500 people at five events, including this one.

"It's important that we show folks what some of the different options are – survival suit, float suit, float tote – and being in the water really shows how each one works," said White. "What we're finding is that people are listening about protecting themselves and their pets, and more of the dealer exhibits at the show are offering life jackets for sale with a number of vessels sporting stuffed canines wearing life jackets."

For all the details on the various on-goings at this year's Central New York Boat Show, including a handful of video clips from local television stations that featured interviews with White, see NYSG's related news item, "On YouTube: NYSG Promotes Safety Efforts at 2014 CNY Boat Show."

(Top row, l-r) John Jablonski and Chris Beardsley of The Sailboat Shop in Skaneateles, NY, have added two lines of power boats to take advantage of the wave surfing trend; Debbie Scarpinato of Oneida Lake Marina in Canastota, NY, spoke with 2014 Central NY Boat Show visitors interested in the increasingly-popular pontoon boats. (Bottom photo) Marina operators, including Jeff Kennedy of Morgan Marine on Keuka Lake, see a bright future in 2014 for boating in New York state, particularly for pontoon-style boating and wave surfing. All Photos: Brian P. Whattam. For more of a look forward, see "Boating Industries Show Signals Fair Winds for 2014 Boating Season in New York."

Not only did NYSG and partners receive coverage from local television stations - including NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox and CW affiliates - and various newspapers for their efforts at this year's CNY Boat Show, but the news also made it onto the forefront of The North American Safe Boating Campaign's (NASBC) Web site, www.safeboatingcampaign.com. NASBC and its "Wear It!" life jacket promotion are administered by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Coast Guard Flotilla 21 Commander John Steinbarge presented NYSG's Dave White with the 2013 Wear It! Award! White is seen here in a cold water survival suit demonstrated as a part of a public education program on life jackets at the 2014 Central New York Boat Show. For more on the award, which recognizes excellence in teaching the public about life jacket safety, see NYSG's related news item, "US Coast Guard Auxiliary Presents Wear It Award to NY Sea Grant Specialist."

A New Season of "Discover Better Boating" Starting Up

Beginning in mid-May, New York Sea Grant and BIA of Upstate New York will again partner with Time Warner Cable on a new season of "Discover Better Boating." Launched in 2011, this six-episode, monthly TV series reaches some 550,000 Time Warner Cable subscribers in 25 counties. The content, streamed directly through BIA's Web site, is responsible for an increase in off-season (November-April) vs. on-season (May-October) visitors, which have grown from an average of, respectively, 1,200 to more than 60,000 a month.

To give you a flavor of what coastal recreational tips are to come this season, here are some of the Discover Better Boating as well as other related videos that were filmed in the last few years ...
  • October 20, 2012 - Preparing for Winter: Storing Your Boat More>

  • May 15, 2013 - Boating in 2013: There’s An App for That! More>

  • June 22, 2013 - Ethanol Use in Boats More>

  • July 19, 2013 - Boating Fun ... The Things We Can Do With Our Boats More>

  • August 17, 2013 - Journey Along the Erie Canal More>

  • September 18, 2013 - "Made in NY" Boating More>

  • October 19, 2013 - Boating Event Questionnaires More>

  • May 16, 2014 - Quick Tip of the Month: Boater Safety Kit More>

  • May 17, 2014 - How To Get Your Boat Trailer Ready For the Season More>

Other related boating clips ...

  • July 30, 2012 - On Air, On YouTube: All Eyes on NYSG-Assisted Web-Based Boaters' Forecast Tool More>

  • October 9, 2012 - Sea Grant Offers Advice on Fall Tourism More>

  • March 22, 2013 - Experts Fear Low Water Levels Again This Year More>

  • May 15, 2013 - Safe Boating Week Reminds Us To Be Careful More>

  • June 18, 2013 - Beware Invasive Species More>

  • July 1, 2013 - Invasive Species More>

  • July 8, 2013 - Practice Environmentally Friendly Boating More>

  • October 24, 2013 - Now's a Good Time to Take a Boating Course More>

  • May 13, 2014 - On YouTube: 2014 National Safe Boating Week More>

  • May 20, 2014 - It's National Safe Boating Week. Are You Set For a Safe Season? More>

  • June 2, 2014 - Boating Season Underway, More Risk of Invasive Species Being Spread More>

— Paul C. Focazio, NYSG's Web Content Manager; Additional info provided by Kara Dunn, Freelance Writer

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: www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube links. NYSG also offers a free e-list sign up via www.nyseagrant.org/coastlines 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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