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News Notes – Connecticut and New York

New sludge vessel in NYC fleet

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection added the sludge vessel Red Hook to its fleet. Red Hook, built in Brownsville, Texas, is 350-plus feet and about 53 feet wide. The vessel can hold up to about 1.2 million tons in its eight storage tanks and, like all others in the fleet, was named after a waste-water treatment facility.

The Red Hook can hold up to 1.2 million tons of sludge.

The Red Hook joins a fleet of three, all of which transport more than 2 million gallons of sludge daily. The sludge vessels have been a part of the city’s waste removal system since 1930; when the practice of dumping sludge at sea was eliminated by the Federal Works Project Administration. Each vessel makes 14 round trips in any typical week.

For information on the NYC Department of Environmental Protection Communications & Intergovernmental Affairs, call (718) 595-6600.

Ice contains oil leak, says Connecticut DEP

Faulty piping in a Bridgeport, Conn., factory caused the seepage of hundreds of gallons of oil into the Connecticut River, according to reports. The factory, managed by

Triram, Connecticut, has tanks that store asphalt products, says Shawn Schain, spokesman for the Department of Environmental Protection. “They are heated, so no coagulation occurs in winter. There was a problem with piping,” he says.

The DEP was called to the scene.

“I don’t believe that the spill will impact boating at all,” says Chelsea Gwyther, executive director of the Connecticut Watershed Council. “The boating community does not need to be overly concerned that this will impact recreation.”

Most of the spillage from the tanks was contained, as the factory has set up dykes for environmental control, according to Schain. A very small amount — at most hundreds of gallons — leaked to the shoreline, but most was trapped in ice, says Schain.

“There will be minimal impact to aquatic life, ecology, and recreational boating,” he says.

— Annie Norcia

Sea Music Festival looking for paper topics

Mystic Seaport is looking for paper proposals, for the 30th annual Sea Music Festival.

The festival, to be held June 12-13, celebrates the lives and work of sailors through musical performance. Previous paper topics include shipboard work songs, seafaring cultures and culture change, technology and regional interests. They should focus on history, folklore, literature, ethnomusicology or other disciplines that address maritime music or inland waters verse throughout the ages. Papers will be presented as a part of the Music of the Sea Symposium.

Mystic Seaport in Mystic, Conn., houses more than 2 million artifacts and one of the largest collections of maritime photography in the country.

For information on the festival, call Michael O’Farrell (860) 572-5317 or e-mail

For information on Mystic Seaport, visit

Sunsail adds destinations in Italy

Clearwater, Fla.-based Sunsail Sailing Vacations recently announced its expansion into the Mediterranean cruising grounds of Italy and Sicily.

The new Sunsail bases, which offer bareboat and skippered sailing vacations, are located in Tropea, on the southwest coast of Italy, and Palermo on the northwest coast of Sicily, perfectly located to explore the beautiful waters of the famous Lipari and Aegadian islands.

Tropea, on the Calabrian coast of Italy, is an ideal departure point to visit southern Italy, Sicily or the Aeolian Islands, only 30 miles away. Tropea offers both historical and architectural appeal.

In Northwest Sicily, the capital Palermo offers the cruising grounds of the Aegadian islands, Malta and Tunisia. Sicily is well known for its natural beauty and the highest active volcano in Europe, Mount Etna.

Author to speak at Mystic Seaport

David Macaulay will give his account of a sunken ship and her voyage April 22 at Mystic (Conn.) Seaport. Macaulay is part of Mystic Seaport’s 2009 Maritime Authors Series.

The series will include a wine and cheese reception at 5:30 p.m. and end with questions and a free book raffle. Previous speakers have include Dr. Mary K. Bercaw Edwards, who spoke on Melville’s lingual influences while in the South Pacific, former Mystic Seaport president J. Revell Carr on his own narrative history and Richard Ellis’ discussions of the disappearing tuna. Tickets are $20 for non-members, $15 for members. For information, call (860) 572-5339 or e-mail

Angler sunglasses win innovation award

A new line of fishing sunglasses, designed specifically for offshore conditions, has earned an award for innovation.

Fishing-gear company Old Harbor Outfitters was presented with the 2008 Best New Product Award at the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, for its line of premium fishing sunglasses with “beneath the surface” polarized lens technology.

The sunglasses are designed to withstand the harsh elements experienced by offshore anglers, and feature advancements in ultraviolet protection, anti-fog, water repulsion, polarization and frame material technologies. The new lenses also allow anglers to see further beneath the surface of the water, according to the Bridgeport, Conn.-based company. For information visit

Auxiliary to increase presence in Sound

The Coast Guard Auxiliary is working to increase presence on Long Island Sound by increasing the number of patrol boats in the division’s fleet.

Measures will include increased public education and courtesy vessel examinations, according to Commander Jay Millard. Other goals include raising public awareness of Rescue 21, which aids in the Coast Guard’s ability to assist mariners in distress.

The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, a volunteer component of the Coast Guard, assists in providing maritime services including safety patrols, environmental production missions and public education. The Auxiliary has 28,000 volunteer members across the country.

Guy Harvey launches jewelry collection

A percentage of sales from the new Guy Harvey Signature Jewelry Collection by Nautora will be donated to The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, a nonprofit organization that educates students about the importance of preserving the oceans.

A portion of the proceeds from the well-known artist's accessories goes to The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation.

The new Guy Harvey Signature Jewelry Collection by Nautora transfers the artist’s scenes into sculpted pieces of jewelry. Pieces include images of blue marlins, dolphins, sailfish, sea turtles and many other species.

Visit for information.

New fishing guide and charter locator

Plan your next fishing trip with help from a new Fishing Guide and Charter Locator at The Web site is the online home of BoatU.S. Angler, a membership program that offers services, fishing tips and safety information just for trailer boat anglers.

Anglers can search by region, state or even by species. Included with each fishing guide or charter company listing is contact information and links to their Web sites. Many listings also have detailed descriptions on their business and the types of species available, boats and equipment being used, professional credentials, or other relevant local information.

The Fishing Guide & Charter Locator also includes an informal rating system that allows customers to share their experience online.

PFD loaner program seeks to expand

The nation’s only program that lends kid-sized life jackets for free to boaters and anglers is looking to grow. The BoatU.S Foundation’s Life Jacket Loaner Program, which offers infant, toddler and children’s life jackets at more than 350 nationwide locations, has launched a campaign to raise $50,000 in additional funds to meet increasing demand by establishing new loaner locations at marinas, boat ramps, waterside resorts, boat clubs, bait shops, towboats, firehouses and other public facilities. The life jackets are typically loaned out for a day or weekend.

Started in 1997, the program has been responsible for loaning an average of more than 50,000 life jackets a year — and saving at least three lives.

A tax-deductible donation of $10 will buy one vest-style life jacket and $250 will create a completely new, fully stocked loaner site. The $50,000 fundraising drive will also help replenish life jackets at some existing locations. Funding for the program is also supported in part by the 650,000 members of BoatU.S.

Go to to make a donation online or mail donations to: BoatU.S. Foundation, c/o Life Jacket Loaner Program, 880 South Pickett St., Alexandria, VA 22304.

Boating safety ed. marks 60 years

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Coast Guard Auxiliary’s public education program, which has played a role in saving lives. Educating the boating public on recreational boating safety as a means of “preventative search and rescue” has been one of the Auxiliary’s cornerstone missions since its inception almost 70 years ago.

In 1939 Congress created the Auxiliary as the civilian, nonmilitary component of the Coast Guard. Sometimes called “America’s Volunteer Lifesavers,” the nearly 30,000 men and women members teach boating safety in classrooms across the United States; as well as perform search-and-rescue, assist boaters in distress, conduct safety examinations of recreational vessels, and assist the active duty Coast Guard in virtually all their missions, except direct law enforcement and military actions.

Although the missions of the Auxiliary have broadened over the years, teaching boating safety has always been one of its strengths.

“The goal of our classes is to prevent tragedy through education,” says Ed Sweeney, Chief of the Auxiliary’s Department of Public Affairs.

This article originally appeared in the April 2009 issue.