Robert ‘Bob’ Hamilton, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service at Buffalo, NY, is noted for presenting his research of the meteorological conditions that have impacted historic events, including shipwrecks.Dunkirk, N.Y. - A forensic weather forecaster, an underwater explorer dubbed the Great Lakes Seaway Trail ‘Jacques Cousteau of shipwrecks,' an historical archaeologist, coastal recreation specialist, charter captain, and Erie Maritime Museum staff and volunteers are on the power-packed agenda for the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Blue Byway Seminar set for April 13 at the Clarion Conference Center and Marina in Dunkirk, NY.   This is the first time the nonprofit Seaway Trail, Inc. has brought its Great Lakes Seaway Trail Underwater Series to the Lake Erie region. Robert ‘Bob' Hamilton, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service at Buffalo, NY, is noted for presenting his research of the meteorological conditions that have impacted historic events, including shipwrecks. He presented his study of the weather influencing the time of the foundering of the 18th century British warship HMS Ontario at the Great Lakes Meteorological Operational Workshop in Chicago in 2012. Underwater explorer and engineer Jim Kennard, dubbed the ‘Jacques Cousteau of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail,' has been featured in such publications National Geographic and Sea Technology magazines for the 200-plus rare and historic shipwrecks he has discovered in numerous waters in his 40-year diving exploration career. His discovery of the HMS Ontario is considered an underwater Holy Grail. Historical archaeologist Douglas J. Pippin, Ph.D., State University of New York at Oswego, has studied the provisioning and frontier economy of the British military and displaced Loyalists during the American Revolution. His fieldwork includes digs at historic Fort Haldimand on the St. Lawrence River and at Loyalist settlements in the Exuma Islands in the Bahamas. Dive the Seaway Trail and the Discover Clean & Safe Boating campaign are among the public education initiatives developed by New York Sea Grant Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist Dave White. He is a BoatUS Foundation Environmental Leadership Commendation award-winner and, in spring 2012, was among the invitation-only guests at the White House Community Leaders Briefing on the Great Lakes Region. Captain Jeff Garnsey is a third generation fishing guide in Clayton, NY, where his family has resided for nine generations. A deck hand at age 10, he later joined the U.S. Naval Submarine Service. After 26 years of duty, Jeff retired to operate Garnsey's Classic Island Cruises for anglers and those who just want to see the beauty of the 1000 Islands region of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail. His family history includes a bit of rumrunning during Prohibition.   Erie Maritime Museum Education Programs Coordinator Linda Bolla has been affiliated with the U.S. Brig Niagara, and Erie Maritime Museum since its inception. She has helped design, create, and develop the Museum's permanent exhibits, public events, and interpretive and educational programs, most recently a seven-part Newspapers in Education series in the Erie Times News and the Museum's current West Wing Gallery exhibit, The Erie-Extension Canal: Gateway to the Great Lakes. Ed Bolla has volunteered with the U.S. Brig Niagara and Erie Maritime Museum for more than 25 years.  He currently serves with the Museum's Education Committee and as coordinator of Living History Programming. He has helped design and develop Museum exhibits and the current Guide Training Program. Over the years Ed has given presentations on the Battle of Lake Erie and other aspects of the U.S. Navy in the War of 1812 at historic sites and history conferences in both the United States and Canada.   The April 13 day-long program agenda also includes a presentation on scuba diving and the fascinating collection of Lake Erie shipwrecks. Pre-registration for the event is requested by April 10, 2013; the $50 pre-registration admission includes lunch; walk-ins, as space allows, $65. Register online at or call 315-646-1000 x203.   This program is part of the Great Lakes Underwater Series. 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. Maritime heritage-rich destinations on the byway include the Erie, PA, Bayfront, 30 historic lighthouses, Niagara Falls, the Inner Harbors at Buffalo, Rochester, the 1000 Islands, and the St. Lawrence Seaway. Learn more at


Contact: Series Coordinator Lynette Lundy-Beck: 315-646-1000 x203: Great Lakes Seaway Trail President/CEO Mike Bristol: 315-646-1000 x202 Publicist Kara Lynn Dunn, 315-465-7578, Link to this release: