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GLIN==> Press release: State Historic Register Coordinator visits August 2

Title: Press release: State Historic Register Coordinator visits August 2
PRESS RELEASE: Use before August 2, 2007                                                            
Contact:  Teresa Mitchell or Peggy Morgia, 315-646-1000
Note:  The Great Lakes Seaway Trail Shipwrecks series continues next on July 19: Dr. Gary M. Gibson and the Military Shipwrecks of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.
Designating, Preserving and Visiting Underwater Resources:
State Historic Register Coordinator Visits Seaway Trail Discovery Center August 2

Sackets Harbor, NY – The St. Peter, a three-masted schooner sunk off Pultneyville in Lake Ontario in 1898, is the shipwreck that Mark Peckham, National Register Unit Coordinator of New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, will highlight as an example of how underwater sites are designated to the State and National Historic Registers. Peckham will speak on Thursday, August 2 at 6 pm at the Seaway Trail Discovery Center in Sackets Harbor as part of the 2007 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Shipwrecks exhibit and speakers series that runs through September 20.

“The St. Peter is one of the most dramatic wrecks to behold. It is very intact and well-preserved by the cold freshwater of Lake Ontario,” says Peckham, who is also a diver.

Peckham will highlight the criteria, priorities and process of nominating underwater sites to Historic Register status. He will speak about the importance of respecting underwater resources, good stewardship of waterbound historic sites, and conservation solutions for historic shipwrecks artifacts collected prior to the Abandoned Shipwrecks Act of 1987 preventing the taking of items from shipwrecks in state waters.  

“The old rule of Finders, Keepers no longer applies and projects such as the development of a New York State Blueway Trail and the Dive the Seaway Trail project are structured ways for divers to properly visit shipwrecks without destroying them,” Peckham says.

The New York State Blueway Trail will link submerged heritage preserves with waterbodies of note, recreational opportunities, local heritage attractions, greenways and byways across the state. The Dive the Seaway Trail project at www.seawaytrail.com highlights sites for different levels of diving skill and of different interest from historic shipwrecks to unique geological and ecological quality.

Admission to the August 2nd evening programs is $4. Those arriving in Sackets Harbor between 10 am and 5 pm can visit the Seaway Trail Discovery Center to view the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Shipwrecks exhibit that includes an interactive underwater-simulated learning program courtesy of Pennsylvania Sea Grant, a series of interpretive panels, an underwater photography display provided by the Oswego Maritime Foundation, and a collection of reclaimed ship’s anchors on loan from French Creek Marina of Clayton, NY.  

The exhibit – admission is $4 - is sponsored by the Seaway Trail Foundation, New York and Pennsylvania Sea Grants; National Grid, TGI Fridays, Watertown; Day’s Inn-Denny’s, Watertown; French Creek Marina, Clayton; Key Bank; the New York State Divers Association and the Social Cultural Committee and Hospitality & Tourism Student Organization of Jefferson Community College, Watertown.

The Seaway Trail Discovery Center, operated by Seaway Trail, Inc. and the Seaway Trail Foundation is in the former Union Hotel built in 1817-1818 and owned by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

The speakers series continues with August 16, August 30 and September 20 presentations respectively by underwater photographer David Doubilet, known for his work in National Geographic Magazine; Captain Ken Kozin of Thousand Islands Dive Excursions; and author and Great Lakes Historian Frederick Stonehouse. For details, go online to www.seawaytrail.com. Seaway Trail Foundation members receive free admission to the programs. For more info, contact Seaway Trail, Inc. at 646-1000.  # # #