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Legislation would continue Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor for 15 more years

The Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor, a federal designation aiming to promote the waterway as a tourist attraction and preserve its natural and historical integrity, would continue for another 15 years under a new measure sponsored by Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand and Rep. Brian Higgins.

The pair announced the legislation renewal Friday at Canalside, the western terminus of the historic canal. It would reauthorize the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Act, which earlier this year resulted in grants to the planned Explore and More Children’s Museum at Canalside and the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site.

“As New York’s first senator from upstate in nearly 40 years, I will always work to preserve the beauty and tradition of the Erie Canal,” Gillibrand said, “and the extension of this National Heritage Corridor is an important step to continue garnering the national recognition it deserves.”

Higgins said Western New York is starting to realize the value of its proximity to the canal.

“Continuation of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor is vital to sustaining the momentum,” he said. “By embracing, maintaining and promoting the unique history we have here in New York we provide limitless opportunities for our region’s future.”