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New boating technology availible for the St. Lawrence River

A new global observation technology has been developed to help recreational boaters on the St. Lawrence River.

This new tool, developed by New York Sea Grant and the Great Lakes Observing System, allows recreational boaters to access information about the river's current as well as water depth. Dave White with New York Sea Grant explained how this technology works.

“It is an online tool that boaters can go on to and actually find out current time, called Nowcasting, what the current is on the St. Lawrence River but also they can find out what the depth of water is in areas that they want to go boating,” he said.

The website also provides an option for boaters to set up email or text message notifications to be sent to their phone when conditions are going to change to a certain parameter. Although the information can be accessed with a mobile device, White says it is not yet a smartphone. ‘app.’

“I mean this is something you would think would be perfect for an iPhone or Android app but the reason there is no app is because there is a real concern that if we did that, that folks would download it and begin to use it and forget that you're in international waters and depending on where you are on the St. Lawrence River, you may be bouncing off a Canadian tower and incur significant charges,” he said.

White says that the developers are continuing to look into ways to make this technology accessible to more users.