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GLIN==> Press release: Seaway Trail, Inc. & Shipwrecks Series Named Upstate History Alliance Award Winner

Title: Press release: Seaway Trail, Inc. & Shipwrecks Series Named Upstate History Alliance Award Winner
PRESS RELEASE:  April 8, 2008
Contact: Teresa Mitchell, 315-646-1000
Seaway Trail, Inc. & Shipwrecks Series Named Upstate History Alliance Award Winner

Sackets Harbor, NY -- On April 13 at the Albany Institute of History and Art, the Upstate History Alliance will award Seaway Trail, Inc., Sackets Harbor, NY, a Certificate of Commendation for its 2007 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Shipwrecks Exhibit and Speakers Series. The award recognizes exceptional exhibits, innovative educational programs and publications, and outstanding volunteers or employees in the history and museum communities of New York State.

Seaway Trail, Inc. President and CEO Teresa Mitchell will accept the award. Mitchell said, “The history of the Seaway Trail region of New York State is an important multi-faceted theme for travelers. We are pleased to receive this honor from the Upstate History Alliance on behalf of our directors, our project partners – particularly New York Sea Grant, and our members.”

Hundreds of historic shipwrecks spanning nearly three centuries fill the waters of the 518-mile Seaway Trail: the St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, Niagara River and Lake Erie in New York and Pennsylvania. The 2007 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Shipwrecks Exhibit and Speakers Series was the premiere effort by the nonprofit Seaway Trail, Inc. to feature a single theme across the multiple disciplines of its mission to promote travel, tourism and related economic development along New York’s freshwater shoreline.

The series received widespread media attention. An Associated Press article by William Kates writing about the Seaway Trail underwater resources was printed and aired by major media across the U.S. in 2007. Media across New York State and publications including American Road magazine and NorthEast Dive News also showcased the Seaway Trail diving destinations.

The 2007 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Shipwrecks Exhibit and Speakers Series featured National Geographic photographer David Doubilet, Great Lakes historian Frederick Stonehouse, Phil Church of the Oswego Maritime Foundation, anchor collector and diver Wilburt C. Wahl, Jr., Mark Peckham of the New York State Historic Preservation Office, underwater explorers Jim Kennard and Dan Scoville, who have discovered hundreds of wrecks using high tech sonar and deep water diving techniques; and Captain Ken Kozin of Thousand Islands Dive Excursions.

The New York State Divers Association, Oswego Maritime Foundation, Sea Grant Pennsylvania, and French Creek Marina provided items for the themed exhibit at the Seaway Trail Discovery Center in Sackets Harbor, NY.

The Clayton Opera House and the Hospitality & Tourism Student Organization and Social Cultural Committee of Jefferson Community College hosted shipwreck speaker programs on behalf of Seaway Trail.

A National Scenic Byway grant from the Federal Highway Administration to Seaway Trail, Inc. through the New York State Department of Transportation Scenic Byways Program provided funding support for the series. Other sponsors included National Grid, Key Bank, Day’s Inn-Denny’s, and TGI Friday’s.

In partnership with New York Sea Grant, Seaway Trail, Inc. continues to develop the Dive the Seaway Trail series of dive sites that are marked, buoyed and maintained by community-based stewards along the byway. A 1999 New York Sea Grant survey showed divers living within the Great Lakes region spent $61 million a year on boat and auto fuel, lodging and food, etc. and $47 million on diving-related expenditures.

Seaway Trail, Inc. Board Member and Dive the Seaway Trail Project Coordinator David G. White of New York Sea Grant, Oswego, NY, said, “Our economic survey clearly showed the opportunity to interpret and market the region to divers and we found that non-diving history enthusiasts also welcomed the program series that has now set a standard for interpreting the other unique themes of New Yorks freshwater, Seaway Trail shoreline region.”

Five outdoor Seaway Trail storyteller interpretive panels telling the facts, lore and legends of historic shipwrecks and the fascinating underwater geography of the region were installed in 2007 at Alexandria Bay, Clayton, Oswego, Pultneyville and Dunkirk. The maritime theme was featured in the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Journey magazine and on the Seaway Trail website at www.seawaytrail.com.

Upstate History Alliance Award of Merit Program Coordinator Jenny Rosenzweig said, “The Certificate of Commendation is given for excellence within the context of available means and regional standards. We are pleased to highlight the 2007 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Shipwrecks Exhibit and Speakers Series at our April 13th award ceremony.”

Other organizations landed on the Seaway Trail that have received Upstate History Alliance awards include the Landmark Society of Western New York, Rochester, NY; and the North Tonawanda History Museum, North Tonawanda, NY.

The Great Lakes Seaway Trail is one of America’s Byways and a National Recreation Trail. Learn more at www.seawaytrail.com. #  #  #