Sea Grant hosts Science on the Water tours of Lake Erie

Be a tourist on the lake with Pennsylvania Sea Grant's Science on the Water series. Beginning July 16, Sea Grant will host a monthly series of educational, science-based tours on Lake Erie. The series targets the general public and is suitable for a non-technical audience.

Each tour will be held on the Presque Isle Aqua Bus water taxi, departing from Waterworks at Presque Isle State Park. Boarding will begin promptly at 6:30 p.m. All tours will end at 8 p.m.

"The goal of these informational cruises is to ignite a deeper interest and appreciation of Lake Erie," said Marti Martz, coastal outreach specialist for Sea Grant. "Ideally, we hope to motivate attendees to become actively involved in protecting the region's waterfront resources."

The first tour, originally scheduled for June 18, was canceled due to inclement weather. Sea Grant hopes to reschedule Ray Schreckengost, executive director of the Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority, to discuss the content and benefits of the Port Authority’s new master plan.

The second tour, Sturgeon in Presque Isle Bay, will be held on July 16 with Jeanette Schnars, director of Regional Science Consortium, Karla Kaczmarek, senior research technologist for Sea Grant, and Jerry Skrypzak, president of S.O.N.S. (Save our Native Species) of Lake Erie Fishing Club. The trio will give a historical overview and discuss future conservation and management plans of lake sturgeon, which were historically found in vast numbers along Lake Erie's Pennsylvania shoreline.

"The Impacts of Climate Change on the Great Lakes" is the topic of the Aug. 20 tour. Mike Campbell, associate professor of biology at Penn State Behrend, will serve as lead tour guide.

Finally, local historian David Frew and Skrypzak will lead the tour on Sept. 17, titled "Tales and Faces of Erie's Maritime History." This tour will explore how the City of Erie, Lake Erie and the bay are linked to the history of North America, including how Erie became part of one of the busiest trade routes of the 1800s.

To register, contact Marti Martz at (814) 217-9015 or The cost for each tour is $12 per person. Registration and pre-payment are required as seats will be filled on a first-come basis.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) established Pennsylvania Sea Grant at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, in 1998. Pennsylvania Sea Grant’s mission is to promote the ecological and economic sustainability of Pennsylvania’s coastal resources through science-based research, education and extension. It staffs three locations, a Lake Erie office in the Tom Ridge Environmental Center at Presque Isle State Park and a Delaware Estuary office in the Delaware County city of Chester and Susquehanna River office in Harrisburg. In 2008, NOAA promoted Pennsylvania Sea Grant to Institutional Sea Grant Program status, which gives it primary responsibility for statewide oversight of long-term investments consistent with NOAA’s national Sea Grant goal of environmental stewardship and responsible resource use. Visit for more information about Pennsylvania Sea Grant.

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Last Updated August 24, 2009