Featured News - Current News - Archived News - News Categories

Metro Creative Graphics
Metro Creative Graphics

Hochul launches effort to protect New Yorkers ahead of total solar eclipse on April 8


Mon, Mar 18th 2024 01:55 pm

State will distribute limited-edition I LOVE NY eclipse glasses at 30 locations, including welcome centers and select service areas along thruway

√ Governor urges stargazers to be wary of scams, fake merchandise, phony accommodation listings; announces expansion of ongoing eclipse safety awareness campaign to include messaging promoting glasses distribution across state

Press Release

Gov. Kathy Hochul has launched a statewide effort to protect New Yorkers ahead of the total solar eclipse on Monday, April 8. The effort includes statewide distribution of limited-edition I LOVE NY eclipse glasses at 30 locations throughout the state, as well as a reminder for stargazers to be wary of scams, fake merchandise and phony accommodation listings.

In addition, the governor expanded an I LOVE NY campaign to urge New Yorkers to take proper safety precautions during the eclipse.

“The total solar eclipse will be a once-in-a-generation experience for our state, and it’s critical that New Yorkers have the tools and information to enjoy it safely,” Hochul said. “From heightening awareness of scams to providing thousands of New Yorkers with eclipse glasses, I’m focused on giving everyone the resources they need to safely experience this extraordinary event.”

Hochul’s team said, “On April 8, a total solar eclipse will encompass the western and northern parts of New York state with the roughly 100-mile-wide path of totality entering in the southwestern part of the state at just after 3:15 p.m. and departing Northern New York just before 3:30 p.m. Cities and towns within this path include Jamestown, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Watertown, Old Forge, Lake Placid and Plattsburgh. The entire event will last for up to 2½ hours, marking the time the sun is first obstructed to the last moments when the moon’s shadow is cast.”

I LOVE NY Eclipse Glasses

Hochul’s team stated, “During the eclipse, it is especially unsafe to look directly at the sun without specialized eye protection and can result in serious injury. The partial phases of the solar eclipse can only be safely observed directly with specialized eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer ­– regular sunglasses are not a safe replacement.”

A limited quantity of I LOVE NY eclipse glasses will be available at locations throughout the state, including New York State Welcome Centers and select service areas along the New York State Thruway (at the Applegreen C-Stores). A full list of locations distributing I LOVE NY glasses, as well as other sources for eclipse glasses, are available here. Glasses will be limited to two pairs per person, while supplies last, with a limited amount distributed daily. The glasses were approved by the New York State Department of Health and carry an ISO certification.

Protecting Stargazers From Scams

The New York Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection is providing tips for the hundreds of thousands of consumers planning to travel to New York to witness the solar eclipse. It said, “Consumers need to be informed of their rights, shop smartly to safeguard their hard-earned money, and stay vigilant to protect themselves from scams.”

According to the Better Business Bureau, scams associated with the 2024 solar eclipse may include:

√ Travel Scams: Scammers may advertise discounted travel packages or transportation services for viewing the eclipse, only to disappear with customers’ money or provide subpar services.

√ Fake Merchandise: Unscrupulous vendors might sell counterfeit or overpriced eclipse-themed merchandise.

√ Phony Accommodation Listings: Scammers could create false hotel or rental listings claiming to have optimal views of the eclipse while these listings may not exist or properties may not be as described, or the lister is not really the owner.

To safeguard against these scams, consumer should:

√ Try to Pay with a Credit Card. Credit cards often offer more protection than paying by cash, check or debit card. Some credit card companies also offer perks like trip insurance or concierge service while traveling, and may offer additional protections if the trip is canceled. Check with your credit card company on the conditions of travel expenditure reimbursement.

√ Purchasing Merchandise. Purchase eclipse viewing glasses and other related products only from reputable vendors or verified sources. Look to see if the glasses include the ISO stamp and message. When seeking eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers, your best bet is to start with the AAS list of suppliers so you can be sure your viewers are safe.

√ Personal Information. Exercise caution when providing personal or financial information online. This advice is good all year round, not just for the eclipse.

√ Do Your Research. Verify the legitimacy of accommodation listings by researching the property and reading reviews from trusted sources.

Any consumer who encounters a marketplace problem while enjoying the eclipse in New York can file a complaint with the DCP at https://dos.ny.gov/consumer-protection.

Additional Preparations for Total Solar Eclipse

Hochul’s team said, “New York state is committed to providing a safe and fun eclipse experience, recognizing the convergence of public safety and tourism promotion. Travelers are encouraged to plan an extended getaway for a more enjoyable event, including avoiding post-eclipse traffic like the massive backups following the ‘Great Eclipse of 2017,’ which bisected the United States from Oregon to South Carolina.”

Educational Information and Viewing

Earlier this month, Hochul announced the eclipse events and activities scheduled at New York's state parks, in coordination with NASA. I LOVE NY has launched the multi-platform “Come for the Eclipse, Stay for New York” campaign to present New York as the place to be to witness this event. The campaign and a special eclipse website highlight viewing location information in the five regions that will experience the path of totality, a variety of attractions and special eclipse-related events happening across the state across its digital platforms including InstagramFacebookTikTok and Twitter/X. A downloadable special edition eclipse poster is also available, created through I LOVE NY's partnership with acclaimed artist and professional astronomer Dr. Tyler Nordgren. Visit iloveny.com/eclipse for viewing locations and additional safety tips.

Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said, “The excitement is building for this extraordinary celestial event happening for the first time in 99 years. As hundreds of thousands of solar eclipse enthusiasts visit and travel throughout our state, we urge New Yorkers and tourists alike to be vigilant and follow our tips so they can enjoy the eclipse without becoming prey to fraudulent schemes.”

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “New York’s prime location in the path of totality for this rare total solar eclipse has generated substantial interest from residents and visitors alike. Under Gov. Hochul's leadership, we’re working to ensure viewer safety through multi-agency public safety coordination and the distribution of complementary I LOVE NY eclipse glasses. This once-in-a-lifetime event will further support our vital tourism industry, benefiting hotels, restaurants and businesses, as eclipse enthusiasts explore viewing locations throughout the state.”

New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, “As part of New York state’s multi-agency coordination effort, state agencies under Gov. Hochul’s direction are working in unison to make sure that the upcoming solar eclipse is as enjoyable and safe as possible. New York state will be one of the primary destinations for people hoping to catch a rare glimpse of this natural wonder, which will provide new opportunities for the economy and tourism, along with unique traffic challenges. If you are coming to New York to enjoy this event, please come prepared with food and water; please be patient, as you may encounter traffic, and please do not park on the side of the roads – so emergency vehicles can safely access the roadways. The team at NYSDOT is planning to ensure that everyone not only enjoys the eclipse safely, but hopefully takes in some more sights while they’re here.”

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said, “The most important step to ensure New Yorkers enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime event is to protect your eyes. ISO-certified eclipse glasses will shield your eyes from serious and possibly permanent damage, which can occur by looking at the eclipse with regular sunglasses or without any eye protection. I am grateful Gov. Hochul is making the specialized glasses available in dozens of locations around the state to ensure this experience is a safe and enjoyable one.”

Mark J.F. Schroeder, commissioner of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles and Chair of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee said, “This is an exciting day for New Yorkers and our visitors to experience a rare phenomenon, and we want to make sure everyone can do so safely. If you’re driving during the eclipse, be prepared to experience sudden darkness, and do not try to look at the eclipse while you’re in motion. Find a place to park if you want to look, and make sure you have proper eyewear. You should also be aware that traffic in viewing areas will be heavier, so expect delays and take it slow.”

Hometown News

View All News