1914 KayakSyracuse, N.Y. (August 30, 2017) - The Great New York State Fair, New York Sea Grant and the H. Lee White Maritime Museum of Oswego will celebrate the first boat launch into the Fair Pond on Thursday, August 31 at 11:30 am at the west end of State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, NY.

Immediately after the launch on Thursday, New York Sea Grant and US Coast Guard Auxiliary personnel will present an on-water education demonstration aboard a stand-up paddleboard and in a kayak on how to identify and use approved life jackets.

The first-ever boat to launch into the new pond at the Great New York State Fair will be a wooden kayak built by hand at the NY Experience: Maritime History showcase at the 2017 Great New York State Fair. The kayak is one of 3 styles of wooden boat being built by H. Lee White Maritime Museum volunteer Rich Bush at the Fair.  The adult kayak was started on Opening Day, Wednesday, August 23. Other boats in progress are a child-size kayak and a dory.
The boat building demonstrations take place daily at 11 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm. As other boats are completed, they will be launched into the pond at the Fair as well.

The boat building demonstrations are part of The Path through Our Maritime History: Waterways of War exhibit coordinated by New York Sea Grant with the New York State Fair, Great Lakes Seaway Trail, Great Lakes Research Consortium, H. Lee White Maritime Museum, US Coast Guard Auxiliary, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, and the I Love NY Path Through History. The exhibit includes:
.  15-foot replica of the USS Philadelphia, the Revolutionary War gunboat that carried General Benedict Arnold and his Continental Army troops in 1776
. Shipwreck Shack with a display on the proposed Great Lake Ontario National Marine Sanctuary project
. Boating and Buoys Shack with information on current era boating
. 2017 New York Sea Grant Clean and Safe Boating educational vessel, an 18-foot made-in-NY pontoon with an electric motor
. Great Lakes Research Consortium 24-7 sensing buoy transmitting air and water temperature and wind data into one of the exhibit tents; and
.Great Lakes Research Consortium in-water remotely operated vehicle demonstrations in the retention pond daily at 12 pm, 2 pm, and 4 pm.

New York Sea Grant is a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York, and one of 33 university-based programs under the National Sea Grant College Program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. For updates on New York Sea Grant activities statewide, www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube links.

On-site at Fair: Dave White, New York Sea Grant, 315-402-3926
Publicist: Kara Lynn Dunn, 315-465-7578