The Great Lakes Seaway Trail "Blue Byway Seminar" set for April 13 at the Clarion Conference Center and Marina in Dunkirk features the worlds of forensic weather forecasting, shipwrecks and underwater exploration, maritime history, and coastal recreation - including diving and paddlesports.
Sponsored by the nonprofit Seaway Trail Inc., in partnership with New York Sea Grant, this day-long event highlights the freshwater and land-based travel opportunities found only on the 518-mile Great Lakes Seaway Trail National Scenic Byway along the St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, Niagara River and Lake Erie in New York and Pennsylvania. Popular touring themes for the byway include maritime history, coastal recreation, lighthouses, nature, cultural heritage, architecture, agriculture and military history - particularly of the War of 1812.
Presenters at the event, which runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., include:
•National Weather Service Forecaster Robert Hamilton speaking on historic weather conditions on Lake Ontario that influenced a diverse collection of shipwrecks;
•Underwater explorer Jim Kennard presenting the details of his discovery of the HMS Ontario, a 22-gun sloop of water that sank in Lake Ontario in 1780;
•"Diving Lake Erie Shipwrecks" (speaker TBA);
•Historical archaeologist Dr. Douglas J. Pippin, of the State University of New York at Oswego, providing details on digs at Fort Haldimand on Carlton Island in the St. Lawrence River;
•New York Sea Grant Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist Dave White talking about new and future tools and apps for boaters, canoeists and kayakers based on the Great Lakes Observing System;
•Charter Capt. Jeff Garnsey sharing stories of his grandfather who was a St. Lawrence River rumrunner during Prohibition;
•Erie Maritime Museum Living History Programming Coordinator and U.S. Brig Niagara volunteer Ed Bolla presenting "The Battle of Lake Erie and The Building of Perry's Fleet"; and
•Erie Maritime Museum Education Programs Coordinator Linda Bolla on "The Fabric of Time: Two Iconic Flags from the War of 1812."
The $50 admission includes lunch. Walk-ins, as space allows, are $65. Register online at www.seawaytrail.com/dive or call 315-646-1000, ext. 203. Pre-registration is requested by April 8.
This program is part of the Great Lakes Underwater Series events. The Great Lakes Seaway Trail is a 518-mile National Scenic Byway that offers unique land and water travel opportunities along Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River. Learn more at www.seawaytrail.com.