New Kayak Launches will Improve Access to Erie Canal & Seneca River

For Immediate Release: 08/09/17

BALDWINSVILLE—The New York State Canal Corporation and village of Baldwinsville today unveiled a kayak launch, one of two new facilities that will improve access to the Erie Canal and the Seneca River

Located in Mercer Park, the launch was financed through a grant from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) grant program, part of the Regional Economic Development Councils initiative, as well as support from Onondaga County. The new launch is located on the Seneca River, near Erie Canal Lock 24. A second launch at Community Park, also to be built using grant money, will open at a later date.

“Onondaga County is proud to help improve access to the Seneca River and Erie Canal,” said Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney. “More area residents are discovering and enjoying these local waterways, and we expect the number of users to grow as amenities like these become even more common.”

“With the Canal system attracting more recreational users each year, we are pleased to play an essential role in improving access for New York’s residents and visitors to vibrant communities like Baldwinsville,” said Brian U. Stratton, Canal Corporation director. “Through the Governor’s successful CFA grants, we can continue to help make important projects like this one a reality.”

Once a vital artery for commercial transportation, today’s 524-mile New York State Canal System has been transformed into a popular and economically relevant recreationway. Use of the Canal by non-motorized vessels—like canoes and kayaks serviced by the new launches— increased about 50 percent from 2015 to 2016.

“We are grateful to County Executive Mahoney, the Onondaga County Legislature, Canal Corporation and Governor Cuomo for helping Baldwinsville improve its access to the Canal system for residents and visitors to the area,” said Baldwinsville Mayor Richard Clarke. “The safety and convenience of these new launches will facilitate even more enjoyment of New York’s iconic waterways.”

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the start of construction on the Erie Canal which revolutionized transportation between the Midwest and Atlantic Seaport, making New York the Empire State and New York City the financial capital of the world. The nine-year bicentennial period for the Erie Canal culminates in 2025, when New York will mark the 200th anniversary of the Canal’s opening.

The CFA Canalway Grants Program provides matching grants through a competitive process to eligible municipalities and nonprofits along the Canal System for canal-related capital projects that further the goals of the state Canal Recreationway Plan and the Regional Economic Development Councils

The 2015 grant to Baldwinsville for the kayak launches was part of $252,000 in funding awarded for Central New York projects that year.

Central New York will host the World Canals Conference next month in conjunction with this year’s activities to mark the Erie Canal’s bicentennial. Canal planners, managers, enthusiasts, and business owners around the globe will gather in Syracuse from September 24-28, to exchange ideas and share best practices. As part of the conference, Paper Mill Island in Baldwinsville will host an event on Sept. 27.

About the New York State Canal Corporation

New York’s canal system includes four historic canals: the Erie, Champlain, Oswego and Cayuga-Seneca. Spanning 524 miles, the waterway links the Hudson River with the Great Lakes, the Finger Lakes and Lake Champlain. The canals form the backbone of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and connect hundreds of unique and historic communities. In 2017, New York is celebrating the bicentennial of the start of the Erie Canal’s construction.

Like Canals on Facebook at NYS Canal Corporation.

Follow Canals on Twitter at @NYSCanalCorp


Steven Gosset
Media Relations
(914) 390-8192