David White is a Cornell University Senior Extension Associate - Recreation Specialist with the New York Sea Grant program, and also serves as the Associate Director for the Great Lakes Research Consortium.


Below please find links to up-to-date resources to assist boaters and marine trade businesses as you plan for boating activities during COVID-19.


If you are interested in learning more about these resources or programs please contact Dave at: 315-312-3042, or email dgw9@cornell.edu





Boating in 2020 (updated 7/7/2020)


NEW: COVID-19 Decals Available for For-Hire Boating Industry


New York Sea Grant (NYSG) is providing New York State’s freshwater marine industry for-hire boating sector with a series of decals to encourage public compliance with boating-specific COVID-19 safety precautions as part of the 2020 edition of NYSG’s nationally-recognized Discover Clean and Safe Boating campaign.

The decals will adhere to boat surfaces to note “Mask Required,” “Use Sanitizer,” “Wear It” with a life jacket symbol, and ”Keep Personal Belongings Personal”; others have a blank line to write a name with an erasable marker to designate person-specific areas aboard the vessel for each individual’s fishing pole or diving gear. There is no cost for the decals to qualified for-hire boating businesses.

The captains or business owners of charter services, boat rentals, tour boats, and boats for-hire for leisure cruising, fishing or diving in New York State may request decals by emailing business name, postal address, and telephone number to sgoswego@cornell.edu. Details will be returned on the number of each style of decal available while supplies last. 

Printable templates of the decals are available to download for print-on-demand at www.nyseagrant.org/forhire


Tips for Boating During COVID-19


As boating opportunities open up (with some restrictions related to boating access, marina operations, and social distancing), the Empire State Marine Trades Association, Boating Industries Association of Upstate New York, and New York Sea Grant are providing resources to assist boaters as they enjoy boating in a socially responsible way.


The following links will assist you in being aware of current changes to boating and access (launch sites and marinas) to safely use your boat:


Discover Better Boating: “Boating in 2020”

NY Sea Grant Clean Boater Factsheets

Discover Boating: Boating During COVID-19

NYS Parks Marine Services Bureau

    NYS Parks “Social Distancing” Poster

NYS Boater’s Guide

NYS DEC Boating

    NYS DEC Delivers-May 2020: COVID-19 Update (as of 5/01/20)

Safe Boating Campaign


New York Sea Grant is also reminding boaters of the “Top10 tips to follow for healthy, clean, safe and environmentally-friendly boating”, while socially distancing on boats at this time.


Marine Trade Business Resources: COVID-19


The marine trades industry has been providing leadership to assist marine trades businesses in preparing to conform to new operating procedures as well as BMP’s to implement during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Below find links to these resources to assist you in marine business continuity and management:


SPECIAL NOTE: The MRAA has led the development of a new publication (5/10/20) to assist marine trade businesses in opening safely. The guide was developed with input from over 10 industry trade groups:


Guide to Operating Your Boat Business Safely: A manual for running an organization that’s safe for employees, customers, and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.


NY Sea Grant: Marina Environmental Best Management Practices

Essential Business or Entities Listing (NYS ESD Guidance)

For-Hire Vessel Guidance (NYS DOH Interim Guidance)

NYS Parks “Social Distancing” Poster


AMI (Association of Marina Industries) COVID-19 Resources

MRAA (Marine Retailers Association): COVID-19 Resources for Dealers

ESMTA (Empire State Marine Trade Association): Resources for Marine Businesses During COVID-19


Additional Boating Information Programs




The "Discover Clean & Safe Boating” project successfully debuted at the Boating Industries Association (BIA) of Upstate New York show in 2008. It has since become a model industry- partnered educational effort that has expanded from Great Lakes’ venues to sites statewide. The Discover Clean & Safe Boating vessels, provided by NYS manufacturers and local dealers, are equipped with all the legally-required and recommended equipment. This program effort is a partnership between NY Sea Grant, the Boating Industries Association of Upstate NY (BIA), and local/regional marine dealers and manufacturers.




Discover Better Boating” is a monthly television news series airing from May-October on Spectrum News where boating industry professionals offer information and tips on such topics as preparing your boat for the boating season, boating safety, the impact of ethanol fuel on your boat, and getting better gas efficiency in a tight economy. This television outreach effort is a partnership of New York Sea Grant, the Boating Industries Association of Upstate New York (BIA), and Spectrum News.  





New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York, is one of 33 university-based programs under the National Sea Grant College Program (NSGCP) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Through its statewide network of integrated services, NYSG has been promoting coastal vitality, environmental sustainability, and citizen awareness about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources since 1971.