Tonawanda News

Local News

May 8, 2014

Canal boating season officially opens

Tonawanda News — Canal season officially opened throughout New York state Wednesday. 

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced that 2014 is the 190th consecutive season of the New York state canal system, which includes the Erie, Champlain, Oswego and Cayuga-Seneca canals.

“New York’s canal system plays a vital role in creating jobs and driving economic activity in our local communities,” 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.”

The canal system generates nearly $380 million annually for the upstate New York economy and has seen continued growth the past several years. 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.

“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,” Cuomo said. 

The upcoming season will feature new 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 events like Canal Splash!, Canal Fest of the Tonawandas, Fairport Canal Days, Oswego Harborfest, and the Waterford Tugboat Roundup will be back for another season.

“New York’s canals are an essential piece of our state’s history and prosperity,” Thruway Authority and Canal Corporation Chairman Howard P. Milstein said. “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.”

This season boaters will be able to purchase their canal pass online. All motorized recreational vessels passing through any lock or lift bridge on the canal system must purchase either a seasonal, a 10-day or a two-day pass. 

For locations where permits are sold in person visit www.canals.ny.gov/boating/tolls.html.

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