Governor Cuomo: "We are also expanding this Javits Convention Center by 50 percent. And my hope is we now have about 350 boats, we're going to finish the expansion in 2021. We'll be able to hold 500 boats. I want to make this the greatest boat show in the United States of America. And working together we're going to do just that."
Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo cut the ribbon at the opening of the New York State Boat Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The New York State Boat Show is first and longest continuously running boat show in the nation.
AUDIO of the Governor's remarks is available here.
PHOTOS of today's event will be available on the Governor's Flickr page.
A rush transcript of the Governor's remarks is below:
Well thank you, it is truly my pleasure to be here and I want to first welcome Jon Pritko who is the Regional Manager of the National Marine Manufacturers Association, and Chris Squeri who is Executive Director and does a lot of great work here in the State with the New York Marine Trades Association.
Frank Hugelmeyer, I am excited about his leadership. I am partial to New Yorkers, yes I am. I admit it. It is part of the New York arrogance. We love New Yorkers. But I am excited about his leadership and what he is going to bring for the association.
I'd also like to thank Alan Steel who is the President of the Javits Center, who is hosting us today. Let's give them all a round of applause and thank then.
As you heard, this is the first and longest running boast show in the United States of America - 115 years. The first boat show was held in the old Madison Square Garden in 1905 where they turned the old Madison Square Garden into a lake and the boat actually floated in the old Madison Square Garden. It was the New York version of an in water boat show you see. So Miami, they stole the idea from us. That is my story. But it has been a long tradition and we are proud that it is going on.
Personally, boating has always been a big part of my life. I grew up boating. My family grew up boating, grew up fishing. And you go through my house, most of the family moments, most of pictures, you will see us in boats because those were the great family moments.
Even today in this crazy society, when you can't get people in one place, you can't get them to slow down, you can't get them to turn off the electronic devices. You put everyone on a boat for a day or even 4, 5, 6 hours. You spend more quality time together away from distractions in nature, and it is some of the greatest time you can spend with one another. I still do with my kids who are now grown up and hard to get together, but those are still our best moments.
For me personally, I want to relax. I want to get away from it. I go out with my brother Chris. We go out fishing. I am still trying to teach him how to catch a big fish. It has been 40 years of lessons but I am still working at it and I still have hope. Hope springs eternal. But it is still my way of relaxing and appreciating the world and just getting back from it a little bit.
As Frank said, boaters and anglers were the first environmentalists because they understood and appreciated the resource up close and personal. A boater knows how important clean water is. Boaters have watched the degradation of the environment. A boater knows how important clean water is. Boaters had to watch the degradation of the environment. Anglers understand how important the resource is and how precious. And anglers have lived through the ups and the downs of species coming and going and getting stronger and getting weaker. So that is a very, very important force for what we are trying to get done in this state. New York is also interesting because we have every type of boating in New York. You can grow up on Long Island, you can go deep sea fishing. You can fish in bays, can be a tourist in boating and go up to Block Island and you can go to Martha's Vineyard, you can go to the Cape. That's all part of New York boating.
We also have the Hudson River. The greatest system of lakes of any state I believe in the United States. We also have the Great Lakes. We also have the loop where you can go up the Hudson River through the Erie Canal into the Great Lakes. So any type of boating you want to do you can do here in the State of New York. And I've enjoyed all of it from Upstate New York with our Great Lakes, the Adirondacks and the beautiful Hudson River. You want a beautiful ride, you go from New York City up the Hudson River where the Erie Canal starts. Some of the most beautiful geography on this planet is the Hudson River Valley. That is all here. This state is the most aggressive state in the country in preserving the environment.
We just announced at the beginning of this year the Restore Mother Nature Initiative. Three billion dollars. Restore fisheries, clean the water, clean streams. We're the building the largest artificial reef along the coast of Long Island bringing back the fishery, protecting us from storms, additional resiliency. That's all happening in the State of New York. As Frank mentioned, it's also a big business for the state. It's an $8 billion industry in this state. Several thousand businesses are in this business. So it's also a very vital and important economic engine for us. Javits, you see today, is hosting this show.
We are also expanding this Javits Convention Center by 50 percent. And my hope is we now have about 350 boats. We're going to finish the expansion in 2021, we'll be able to hold 500 boats. I want to make this the greatest boat show in the United States of America. And working together we're going to do just that.
Thank you and God bless you.