New York Sea Grant's Launch Steward Program Expanding for 2013!
|2013 NYSG Launch Steward Crew|
Top (L to R): Nick Spera, Clinton Whittaker, Ryan Thompson
Middle (L to R): Brittney Rogers, Mary Penney
Bottom (L to R): Heather Dunham, Sophia Oliveira, Megan Pistolese
Photo by: Dave White, NYSG
The summer Launch Steward program coordinated by New York Sea Grant (NYSG) is expanding from Jefferson and Oswego counties to include waterfront sites in Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, and Wayne counties.
In 2013, the NYSG Launch Steward Program that informs the public about the Lake Ontario and Oneida Lake and inland rivers environment is focused on offering voluntary watercraft inspection education to motorized and non-motorized boaters at 15 launch sites.
The seven college students hired as the 2013 NYSG Launch Stewards are now covering the eastern Lake Ontario shoreline from Sodus Bay to Henderson, the Oswego River, Little Salmon River, Sandy Creek, Stony Creek, and the Oneida Lake.
- Nick Spera of Brewerton, NY, takes on the role of Chief Steward in 2013. He will assist the sic new incoming stewards and expand his own educational outreach focused on public involvement in AIS management through such activities as water chestnut pulls. Nick is an Environmental Science and Psychology graduate of Nazareth College.
- Sophia Oliveira of New Milford, CT, is a 2013 biology graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology. She plans to continue her education with graduate studies focused on conservation and wildlife biology in the fall.
- Megan Pistolese of Watertown, NY, will be a senior environmental science major with Empire State College in the fall. She is interested to participate in public educational efforts to preserve local waterfront environment.
Four of the stewards were graduates of students of SUNY Oswego,
- Heather Dunham of Hornell, NY, will be a senior zoology major in the fall. The educational aspect of the Launch Steward programs fits her interest in becoming an educator at a zoo.
- Brittney Rogers of Mexico, NY, is a 2013 zoology graduate of SUNY Oswego. Her goal is to pursue a career in wildlife rehabilitation and outreach and conservation.
- Ryan Thompson of Savona, NY, is a SUNY Oswego graduate with a biology degree and an interest in environmental health and biosecurity career opportunities.
- Clinton A. Whittaker, Jr. of Manchester, NY, will be a senior biology major at SUNY Oswego in the fall. He is pursuing multidisciplinary interests in the field of ecology.
The goal of the inspections and public education programs offered throughout the boating season by the NYSG Launch Stewards is to empower boaters to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS).
NYSG Coastal Community Development Specialist Mary Austerman serves as the Launch Steward Program Coordinator. NYSG coordinates the Launch Steward Program in cooperation with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Parks, the Towns of Henderson, Scriba and Sodus, the City of Oswego and Onondaga County. Funding is through a Great Lakes restoration Initiative contract administered by the Finger Lakes-Lake Ontario Watershed Protection Alliance.