Mar 15, 2023
Phil Church, County Administrator at the County of Oswego, will welcome 2023 NYS Tourism Conference attendees to Oswego County and tell the story of how four counties and the state came together to nominate southeastern Lake Ontario to become a National Marine Sanctuary. He will also introduce the panelists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s National Marine Sanctuary program and the chair of the local Sanctuary Advisory Council.
Lake Ontario is known for its beauty, scenic vistas, boating and sportfishing activities, and its magnificent sunsets. But what lies beneath its tranquil and sometimes stormy waters? How does the underwater world create opportunities for tourism, education, and economic growth? Panelists will speak about the National Marine Sanctuary system and the nomination and designation process, from a federal and local perspective.
- Learn what a National Marine Sanctuary is, and why they are so special (only 15 exist),
- Hear about how a sanctuary is transformational for its host communities in terms of economy, education, heritage, and conservation.
Philip Church is the County Administrator for Oswego County. His career in public service began 33 years ago and included extensive work in the county's Department of Promotion and Tourism. He was promoted to County Administrator 2007, and currently serves as Second Vice President of the New York State Association of Counties. He holds a Master of Arts in Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University. An avid shipwreck diver and photographer, Church is deeply involved in submerged maritime heritage preservation efforts. As a volunteer, he directed Oswego Maritime Foundation’s submerged cultural resources program and helped establish the State’s first underwater shipwreck preserve in Lake Ontario. He worked with New York Sea Grant and Seaway Trail to establish four model underwater scuba diving preserves to enhance preservation and tourism along the Seaway Trail. Beginning in 2015 he has chaired a four-county task force to nominate the shipwrecks of southeastern Lake Ontario to become a National Marine Sanctuary. If successful, the nomination is scheduled for designation in 2024.
About Oswego County:
In 1816, Oswego County became the 48th county established through an act of the New York State Legislature. Today, with two cities, 10 villages and 22 towns, business and educational opportunities abound here. The Oswego County Legislature works to deliver a variety of services and ensure a high quality of life for its residents.
Oswego County is ideally situated between Great Lake Ontario, the Tug Hill Plateau and Oneida Lake. Rich in natural beauty, it has thousands of acres of public forests and wildlife management areas. Its unique geography provides a wide variety of recreational experiences for residents and visitors alike.
In addition to year-round outdoor adventure, Oswego County offers fascinating history, family-friendly festivals and welcoming hospitality!