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Governor Cuomo Announces The Beginning Of New York’s Canal Season

May 9, 2014 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the 190thconsecutive season of the New York State Canal system, which encompasses the Erie, Champlain, Oswego, and Cayuga-Seneca Canals.

The Canal system is an important artery for commercial shipping as well as a recreation and tourism economic engine, generating nearly $380 million annually for the upstate New York economy.

“New York’s canal system plays a vital role in creating jobs and driving economic activity in our local communities,” Governor Cuomo said. “From moving a record-level of commercial freight to supporting a variety of tourism and recreational opportunities, the canal system is a major driver of the Upstate economy. I am proud to open the 190th season of this remarkable system, and encourage New Yorkers to visit one of our scenic canal sites this year.”

The Canal system has seen continued growth the past several years alongside the Governor’s focus on bringing new economic development and activity to New York. Last year, commercial shipping nearly exceeded 100,000 tons, a level not seen in two decades—a number which the Canal Corporation hopes to surpass in 2014.

The upcoming canal season will feature many exciting attractions and events including Cycle the Erie Canal, an end-to-end trip along the Canalway Trail, as well as the return of the replica Canal Schooner Lois McClure, which will travel the entire length of the Champlain, Erie, and Oswego Canals. Other popular events like CanalSplash!Canalfest of the TonawandasFairport Canal DaysOswego Harborfest, and the Waterford Tugboat Roundup will be back for another season.

Thruway Authority and Canal Corporation Chairman Howard P. Milstein said, “New York’s Canals are an essential piece of our state’s history and prosperity. Our unprecedented 190th consecutive season of navigation is a testament to the hard work of our dedicated staff that ensures businesses and thousands of upstate tourists have the ability to enjoy and utilize one of this nation’s greatest engineering feats.”

Thruway Authority and Canal Corporation Executive Director Thomas J. Madison said, “The canal system is one of the most extraordinary parts of New York State’s history and continues to positively impact the upstate economy each year through tourism and as a commercial shipping channel. We are proud to open the Canals for the 190th year and thank our staff who have worked tirelessly to prepare the Canals this season.”

Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said, “The New York State Canal Corporation is proud to announce the beginning of the 190th consecutive season of navigation on New York’s Canals. Every year, thousands of tourists travel upstate to experience the history of the Canals and to see first-hand the vital role they continue to play within the more than 200 communities that line their shores. Whether you’re a boater, biker, hiker or nature lover, you will find the Canals and Canalway Trail are unique adventures you have to experience in 2014.”

New in 2014, boaters will be able to purchase their canal pass online, as an added convenience. All motorized recreational vessels passing through any lock or lift bridge on the Canal system must purchase either a Seasonal Pass, a Ten-Day Pass or a Two-Day Pass. For locations where permits are sold in person, please visit http://www.canals.ny.gov/boating/tolls.html.

Other improvements this year include continuing the $28 million structural improvement project at the eight movable dams in Montgomery and Schenectady Counties. This year’s work involves replacing steel and mechanical components as well as lighting upgrades. In advance of forecasted severe flooding, these improvements will facilitate actions the Canal Corporation can take aimed at reducing damage to public infrastructure, businesses and residences.

Additionally, work is underway to establish the new Upstate New York Flood Warning System, which will substantially improve the forecasting frequency, accuracy and the modeling and mapping for any potential flooding throughout critical watershed regions in Upstate New York. The warning system will cover over 13,000 square miles and encompass three watersheds—the Oswego River Basin, Mohawk River Basin, and Upper Hudson River Basin—in 27 upstate counties, where flooding has long been a recurring problem.

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