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July 29, 2011

Greenest New Yorker to Visit the Thousand Islands-Seaway Region

Tour include trips on region's waterways, one of I LOVE NEW YORK's Top 10 Green Destinations

Albany, NY - New York City resident Erik Baard, New York State's "Greenest New Yorker," will be on the road to visit the Thousand Islands-Seaway region July 29 - August 1. Baard will check out the famed waterways of the region, one of I LOVE NEW YORK's Top 10 Green Destinations, as well as visit the Oswego Harborfest. Baard will recount his green Thousand Islands-Seaway experience on his blog, "The Diaries of the Greenest NYer," at http://www.greenheartny.wordpress.com/, which is set to launch in August.

"The variety of activities, whether on land or water, throughout the Thousand Islands-Seaway region is simply amazing," said I LOVE NEW YORK's Greenest New Yorker, Erik Baard. "I'm looking forward to experiencing everything from hawks to castles, whitewater rafting to maritime history, local delicacies and more. I'm also excited to be meeting with local officials to learn about environmental restoration and associated conservation efforts. 'Going green' is easier than most people realize, and I hope to spread the word that everyone can do their part to create a sustainable environment while still having a great and memorable adventure!"

While in the region, Baard's stops and adventures will include a visit to Fort Ontario in Oswego, as well as experiencing the city's premier waterfront event, Harborfest!; learning about dune restoration and other conservation efforts at Sandy Island Beach State Park in Sandy Creek, then kayaking from Sandy Creek to Lake Ontario; viewing the breathtaking 110-foot waterfall and spectacular river gorge at Salmon River Falls in Orwell; rafting from Watertown through the Black River Canyon toward Lake Ontario; and taking in romantic Boldt Castle in Alexandria Bay.

Along the way, he will also be meeting with local officials and representatives from environmental organizations such as Save the River and Thousand Islands Land Trust to discuss conservation efforts and green travel promotion.

"Oswego County is proud to have been selected as a destination for the first 'Greenest New Yorker' tour," said Dave Turner, Director of the Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning. "We are blessed with pristine waterways, beautiful beaches, and unique activities that celebrate our waterfront and make it a perfect destination for people who enjoy the outdoors. Oswego's Harborfest is recognized as a major regional event and has received numerous international and national awards for the high quality performances that it brings. Lake Ontario and its freshwater dune system, which stretches for 17 miles in Oswego and Jefferson counties, is a perfect area for birding, paddling, camping and fishing. And anyone who has seen an Oswego sunset knows that they are the most spectacular in the world!"

"Everyone can be a 'Greener' New Yorker by visiting state parks and historic sites along eastern Lake Ontario and in the Thousand Islands and exploring the natural beauty and cultural landmarks of this scenic region," said Rose Harvey, Commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. "Season after season, visitors are drawn to the area to take advantage of the unparalleled recreation on these waterways and the hospitality of local communities."

A native New Yorker, Baard is the founder of the Long Island City Community Boathouse, and to promote local eco-tourism and water travel around New York City, he conceived the MetroBoat, a folding kayak manufactured by Folbot that is the only kayak in the world which has the eye-catching iconic New York City subway map infused into its deck. He is also the founding member of the Queens Volunteer Committee of Transportation Alternatives and advocates for New York's environment through his Nature Calendar blog, professional articles, and pro bono contributions.

As the official I LOVE NEW YORK Greenest NYer, Baard is spending the year traveling New York State in his free time and experiencing some of its finest green/eco-tourism offerings, while using the title in his networking and work in the promotion of sustainability.

Amtrak, in partnership with I LOVE NEW YORK, is currently featuring a "Go Green" 15 percent discount for travel in New York State. For more information, visit www.iloveny.com. For more information on green certified businesses, visit www.iloveny.com/what-to-do/reasons-to-love-ny/green-travel-choices.aspx.

"Amtrak congratulates Mr. Baard on his designation as New York State's Greenest New Yorker. We also applaud our partners at I LOVE NEW YORK for their commitment in promoting rail travel throughout the state," said Roy Deitchman, Vice President, Environmental Health and Safety, Amtrak. " Traveling on Amtrak continues to be one of the most convenient ways to travel throughout New York and it is also energy efficient, approximately 20 percent more fuel efficient than airlines and 30 percent more than automobiles on a per passenger mile basis."


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