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Conference on Shipwrecks This Weekend

By Dave Bullard

Oswego, NY – New York's underwater treasures have created an underground economy.

This weekend, people who study Lake Ontario's shipwrecks will be in Oswego for the annual Great Lakes Underwater Conference.

The conference comes at a time when shipwreck hunters are finding more and more pieces of the region's maritime past at the bottom of Lake Ontario.

Dave White of New York Sea Grant runs the conference. According to White, shipwreck diving gives an economic boost to the local economy.

"The diving community in upstate New York is a major part of our economy, but it's one of those audiences you don't normally see. When you see a fishing fleet going out, you'll see the rods, the reels, etc., but a lot of folks don't see divers down at the boat, down at the dockside, getting in, going out," said White.

White said it's become much easier for divers to explore shipwrecks. According to White, zebra mussels filter impurities out of the water, and in some cases, make it possible to see for several miles underwater.