The waterways of Central New York are crucial sites for the study of natural change and its impact on society as well as the local, regional and even global environment. Hamilton now has a vessel capable of providing access to regional lakes and rivers for teaching and research. It was acquired and outfitted with the support of the Sherman Fairchild Foundation and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation via the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board. A name had not been definitely decided in March, but an "open boat day" and formal dedication is planned for May or June.
The boat, which is moored at the Oneida Lake Marina and can operate from April through November, is equipped with all major sediment and water sampling instruments. Its digital navigation and bottom-mapping hardware and software are GIS compatible. The boat can accommodate up to 12 passengers, has fuel, accommodations and engine capacity for overnight excursions, and is completely enclosed for operation in foul weather. It can navigate in water as shallow as one foot and is handicapped-accessible. The boat provides direct-water access to the Finger Lakes via the New York State Barge Canal system; Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence Seaway; and the Mohawk and Hudson River systems. It can be transported by trailer to the large water bodies of the Adirondacks and the Tug Hill Plateau.