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Lake George names statewide 'scuba dive trail' chiefs

LAKE GEORGE - The village of Lake George has taken a step toward establishing a program to promote a statewide "scuba dive trail" on behalf of their municipality and five other communities across the state. The program promotes the communities as underwater destinations for divers and history buffs, while advocating preservation of the sites of historic and environmental significance.

Last week, the village of Lake George selected and contracted with Sharlene and Rob Parker of S & R Underwater of Beaver Dams in Schuyler County, to serve as project coordinators for the statescuba dive trail.

The selection of this statewide coordinator was undertaken by a committee of dive enthusiasts, archaeological historians, municipal leaders and representatives of state agencies sponsoring the project.

Lake George Mayor Robert Blais said this action was a "significant step" toward establishing a network of managed underwater scuba dive trails, a statewide version of a project that has been developing during recent years in Lake George.

In the project, the village will be working with the cities of Dunkirk, Geneva, Oswego and Plattsburgh, plus the village of Freeport. Those involved will conceive, design and lay out underwater trails in the water bodies adjacent to their communities, including the Atlantic Ocean on the South Shore of Long Island, Lake Champlain, Lake Erie, Lake George, Lake Ontario and Seneca Lake.

Under the waters of Lake George, shipwrecks dating back to Colonial times have been examined, documented and steps have been taken toward their preservation.

History enthusiasts have characterized the wrecks as "priceless treasures" that reveal life and warfare in bygone days that offer an exciting viewing experience for divers.

The statewide project begins with documenting underwater cultural resources that are suitable for frequent visitation, and developing signage, brochures and other informational resources to inform divers, history buffs and the general public.

In announcing the selection of a project coordinator, Blais said the scuba dive trail will generate economic activity that has to date remained virtually untapped in the sponsoring communities.

"The village's sponsorship of this project is indication of our commitment to enlarging the project to five other water bodies so that each will have a series of interesting, cultural and historic dive sites," he said. "I look forward to seeing the trail as it develops."

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