For Immediate Release: 06/24/15

As the Erie Canal approaches its bicentennial, the New York State Canal Corporation is inviting New Yorkers to share their ideas for the future of the Canal system, by completing an online survey, New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton announced today.

Public input will play a central role in updating the Canal Recreationway Plan, a long-term framework for development of recreational opportunities throughout the Canal system. The plan was developed for the Canal Recreationway Commission, an advisory body to the Canal Corporation. It was initially adopted in 1995 and will be updated for the first time this year.

The New York State Canal system includes the Erie, Champlain, Oswego and Cayuga-Seneca Canals as well as the adjacent Canalway Trail. Construction on the original Erie Canal began in 1817, and was completed in 1825.

"The original Canal Recreationway Plan was a landmark document that provided a blueprint for the revitalization of the Canal system," Director Stratton said, "Now, 20 years later, 'Canal 2025’ will chart the next chapter in the history of this iconic waterway."

Canal 2025 will summarize the accomplishments made since the Canal Recreationway Plan was completed and recommend new projects and initiatives going forward through 2025, the bicentennial of the opening of the original Erie Canal. Individuals and groups wishing to submit comments should complete the survey.

Recent studies have determined that the Canal system helps support $6.2 billion in annual economic activity, as well as $380 million in tourism-based spending. Another study recently released by Parks & Trails NY established that the Erie Canalway Trail – which parallels the Erie Canal from the Hudson River to Lake Erie -- has an economic impact of approximately $253 million annually and supports 3,440 jobs in the trail corridor.

About the New York State Canal Corporation

The New York State Canal System is comprised of four historic waterways, the Erie, the Champlain, the Oswego and the Cayuga-Seneca Canals. Spanning 524 miles, the waterways link the Hudson River, Lake Champlain, Lake Ontario, the Finger Lakes, Niagara River and Lake Erie with communities rich in history and culture. For more information about the New York State Canal System, vacation opportunities and events call 1-800-4CANAL4 or visit

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Shane Mahar
Office of Media Relations and Communications
(518) 471-5300