Social Media at the Boat Launch

Monday, April 23, 2012

Left to Right – Auxiliarists Mike Garone, Gal Tal, Gerard Andrews, Jack Lund, Steve Kisver, Jason Wickersty (also a Federal Park Ranger), and Charles Calderon. Photograph courtesy of Auxiliarist Fred Delisi Jr.

It was a brisk spring morning, with overcast skies, a scent of low tide, and a hint of Social Media?  No kidding, this is absolutely true.  At Gateway National Recreation Area, Great Kills Park, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary unveiled a new sign at the boat launch ramp that not only advertises Boating Safety Classes and Free Vessel Checks, but also reminds the public to “Find us on Facebook.” As part of the continuing efforts to promote our public services via the mainstream, this could quite possibly be the Auxiliary’s first social media advertisement for Facebook via permanent physical signage in a public location.

Article by Auxiliarist Gerard Andrews, Staten Island, New York

Back in February 2012, members of the Auxiliary began discussing the endeavor to replace the existing signs which had been in place since 2007.  Over time the website URL had changed, the old signs no longer served the public and had to be updated.  This was a true team effort, members led by Auxiliarists Jack Lund,  Mike Garone,  Steven Kisver,  Charles Calderon, Gal Tal, Jason Wickersty, Fred Delisi, and Gerard Andrews met on-site and implemented the replacement.

After replacement. Photograph courtesy of Auxiliarist Fred Delisi Jr.

Before replacement. Photograph courtesy of Auxiliarist Fred Delisi Jr.

An outdoor information center for boaters – The new sign sits in a very visible location at the foot of the ramp where vehicles line-up and wait their turn to launch.  As you can tell by the picture, it’s at eye level if you’re at least six feet tall; under the sign you will find a box filled with Auxiliary Safe Boating materials.  Behind the sign is a bulletin board with advertisements for upcoming classes, park information, along with federal and local boating and fishing regulations.

The sign should stand for years to come; its construction is of professional grade .80 gauge aluminum, with heavy duty decal lettering made to withstand the elements.  As for the old signs, they will be repurposed and used in another location after the old website URL is removed.  On Staten Island, we have many local marinas and we’ll find the perfect location to provide the most visibility.  If you are ever in the area, come by and check it out.

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