Speaker added to Great Lakes Seaway Trail Blue Byway Seminar
Freediver Sam Genco has been added to the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Blue Byway Seminar taking place 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 13 at the Clarion Conference Center and Marina in Dunkirk. Genco will talk about the wide variety of Lake Erie diving, snorkeling and freediving adventures available to people of all ages and experience levels.
Genco is a noted freediver in the Niagara River/Lake Erie area of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail region that parallels 518 miles of freshwater shoreline in New York and Pennsylvania. He is a U.S. Coast Guard-licensed Captain and a former Captain with Osprey Charters out of Barcelona.
This is the first time the Great Lakes Seaway Trail underwater history and tourism program series has come to the Lake Erie region, and the first program in the series to feature a presentation on snorkeling and freediving.
Freediving does not involve the use of scuba tanks or other breathing devices. Genco, who has been scuba diving since 1983, is well-known for his freediving on Lake Erie shipwrecks that are deeper than some divers have seen using scuba gear.
Other presenters at the day-long event that highlights maritime heritage travel opportunities along the 518-mile Great Lakes Seaway Trail National Scenic Byway that parallels Lake Erie in New York and Pennsylvania, and the Niagara River, Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River in New York include:
- Underwater explorer Jim Kennard presenting the details of his discovery of the HMS Ontario, a 22-gun sloop of water that sank in Lake Ontario in 1780
- National Weather Service Forecaster Robert Hamilton speaking on historic weather conditions on Lake Ontario that influenced the wreck of the HMS Ontario
- Historical archaeologist Dr. Douglas J. Pippin, Ph.D., of the State University of New York at Oswego, providing details on ship building at the British-held Fort Haldimand on Carlton Island
- New York Sea Grant Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist Dave White talking about new and future tools and apps for boaters, canoeists and kayakers based on the Great Lakes Observing System
- St. Lawrence River Charter Captain Jeff Garnsey sharing stories of his grandfather who was a rumrunner during Prohibition
- Erie Maritime Museum Education Programs Coordinator Linda Bolla on The Fabric of Time: Two Iconic Flags from the War of 1812
- Erie Maritime Museum Living History Programming Coordinator and U.S. Brig Niagara volunteer Ed Bolla presenting The Battle of Lake Erie and The Building of Perry’s Fleet.
The $50 admission includes lunch; walk-ins, as space allows, $65. Register at www.seawaytrail.com/bluebyway or call 315-646-1000 x203. Pre-registration is requested by Wednesday.