08.07.19

SCHUMER REVEALS: CALLOUS AND SHORTSIGHTED FED PROCESS THREATENS TO EVICT SAIL BUFFALO—A LOCAL SAILING & WATER SAFETY SCHOOL—FROM COAST GUARD-OWNED INNER HARBOR SITE; EVICTION WOULD STRIP WNY CHILDREN & TEENS OF INVALUABLE LAKE ERIE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES; SENATOR URGES COAST GUARD TO REVERSE DECISION, EXTEND LEASE AND BE THE WIND BEHIND SAIL BUFFALO

Sail Buffalo, A Local Sailing School Teaching WNY Youth About Lake Safety & Providing Sailing Certification, Could Be Forced To Vacate Coast Guard-Owned Property Because Of Bureaucratic Plan 

Schumer Calls On Coast Guard To Extend Lease Agreement With Sail Buffalo & Allow Program To Continue Its Invaluable Mission Of Educating Local Children About Lake Erie And The Sport Of Sailing

Schumer To Coast Guard: Capital Improvement Plans Would Sink Sail Buffalo; Don’t Make Them Walk The Plank!

Standing at the Sail Buffalo Sailing School on the Inner Harbor, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today urged the U.S. Coast Guard to amend proposed capital improvement plans and allow the educational non-profit to continue its operations at its current facility on Coast Guard-owned land. Schumer explained that despite the school’s small footprint on this property and track record of success teaching Western New York children safety measures and how to sail, the Coast Guard is demanding the sailing school vacate the property as part of its plans to conduct capital improvements. Schumer argued that Sail Buffalo’s location and programming are ideal to expose the next generation of children and teens to the amazing natural and recreational resource that is Lake Erie. And further said they should not be impacted by any capital improvement plans for the nearby Coast Guard Exchange base, and urged the Coast Guard to instead reverse their decision at once.

“Simply put, Sail Buffalo means far too much to the surrounding communities to be evicted for bureaucratic and callous reasons. This organization plays a fundamental role in educating the children of Western New York about their greatest natural resource, Lake Erie, and helps to inspire the region’s next generation of local sailors,” said Senator Schumer. “That’s why I’m urging the Coast Guard to reconsider this decision, and instead help Sail Buffalo stay afloat by extending its lease agreement. Forcing Sail Buffalo to walk the plank and leave their Inner Harbor operations behind would only serve to capsize a critical educational resource for Western New York children and adults alike, the Coast Guard should instead act as the wind behind this top-notch organization.”

Located on the bend of the Inner Harbor across from the bustling Canalside Area, Sail Buffalo is a non-profit day camp and sailing academy that educates Western New York children to sail on and respect the Great Lakes. Schumer explained that Sail Buffalo has a small footprint on the Coast Guard-owned property, taking up less than a few acres of space.

Schumer said that since 2012, the Sail Buffalo staff has worked tirelessly to create a community boating center that is both fun and educational for children of all ages and backgrounds. Schumer said that with American Sailing Association (ASA) instructors and certification courses, programs like Sail Buffalo are making vital contributions to the landscape of the Great Lakes community. Schumer argued that a bureaucratic decision to revoke Sail Buffalo’s tenancy on the property, despite its many successes, would not be in the best interest of the Coast Guard or local Western New York communities.

Therefore, Schumer requested that Sail Buffalo’s small parcel of Coast Guard-owned land be excluded from any planned capital improvements to the property, and that instead, the program’s lease be extended during the process. Schumer said it is imperative to prevent a bureaucratic process from derailing the education and enrichment of hundreds of children and closing public waterfront access for those who want to enjoy Western New York’s greatest natural asset, Lake Erie.

Schumer was joined by Sail Buffalo administrators, teachers, and sailing students.

Sail Buffalo Sailing School was launched in 2012 after the organization came to a leasing agreement with the Coast Guard for the property on Buffalo’s Inner Harbor, with the mission of creating a vibrant waterfront operation that educates Western New Yorkers about boating and the Great Lakes natural environment. Beyond teaching the children of Western New York how to sail and respect the Great Lakes, the organization also operates and maintains a Community Boating Center that gives locals access to the Buffalo waterfront. Sail Buffalo also offers locals the chance to receive ASA certification for numerous levels of sailing, from Basic Keelboat 101 through Basic Keelboat 104.

Dear Admiral Schultz,

I write to express my dismay at the Coast Guard’s request that Sail Buffalo Sailing School vacate their present location on U.S. Coast Guard-owned land on Buffalo, New York’s Inner Harbor.  Sail Buffalo is a non-profit day-camp and sailing academy that teaches Western New York children to sail on and respect the Great Lakes. Located on the bend of the Inner Harbor across from the bustling Canalside area, Sail Buffalo’s location and programming are ideal for educating the next generation of local sailors and should not be affected by any capital improvement plans for the nearby Coast Guard Exchange.

Sail Buffalo’s footprint is small. Located on just a few acres, this sailing center has taken great strides to be a good neighbor and their operations do not interfere with the day-to-day operations of the Coast Guard. Since 2012, the staff has managed to create a community boating center that is both fun and educational for kids of all ages and backgrounds. With American Sailing Association (ASA) instructors and certification courses, programs like Sail Buffalo are making vital contributions to the landscape of the Great Lakes community. A bureaucratic decision to revoke their tenancy, despite their successes, is not in the interest of the community or the United States Coast Guard.

With this in mind, I request that Sail Buffalo’s small parcel of land be excluded from any planned capital improvements made to the property and their lease be extended through the process. We simply cannot allow a bureaucratic process to derail the education and enrichment of hundreds of children and close public waterfront access to those who want to enjoy our region’s greatest natural asset.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to your response. Please feel free to contact me or a member of my staff with any questions you may have.

Sincerely, 

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