Hawley touts free recreational boating on canal this year

Staff Reports Posted 23 May 2017 at 8:04 am

File photo by Tom Rivers: The lights are on early in the morning at this large canal vessel in Albion. This photo was taken in October 2014.

The Erie Canal opened for its 193rd boating season on Friday. The season continues until Oct. 11 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“In celebration of the bicentennial and tremendous heritage of the canal, I am pleased to announce that permit fees for recreational vessels will be waived this year and the New York State Canal Corporation will be hosting a series of events in towns along the canal from Albany to Buffalo,” State Assemblyman Steve Hawley said in a news release. “I encourage all of my constituents to attend one of these fun events this summer and learn more about the Erie Canal and its history by visiting www.canals.ny.gov  or eriecanalway.org.”

The canal opened in 1825, following eight years of construction. This year is the start of an bicentennial celebration because construction started in 1817.

“The Erie Canal is one example of how New York has been a leader in innovation, commerce and transportation for centuries,” Hawley said. “My Assembly District alone contains 56 percent of all lift bridges on the Erie Canal system and I have seen firsthand how thriving communities like Brockport, Medina, Albion, Holley, Murray, Ridgeway, Sweden, Gaines and Hulberton have benefited and will continue to benefit from the increased tourism and commerce.”

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