WASHINGTON, D.C. — The lifetime federal spending cap for the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor will be increased from $10 million to $12 million, several members of New York’s congressional delegation announced Monday.
The measure is included in the omnibus appropriations bill — moving through the House and Senate this week — to keep the government open. The measure will ensure the Erie Canal heritage corridor, established in 2000, continues to qualify for federal parks funding.
“This increase preserves the Erie Canal Heritage Area’s ability to receive critical annual federal funding through the National Park Service and protects this critical attraction so that it can continue to be an economic hub and a draw for upstate residents and tourists,” said U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.
Schumer, U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam, and others requested that the spending limit be raised last fall, citing the economic benefits the heritage corridor designation provides to upstate New York.
The 524-mile heritage corridor consists of 57 historic canalway locks connecting Lake Erie to the Hudson River at Waterford. The corridor also includes the Champlain Canal from Waterford to Whitehall, and side canals in central New York. The goal of the corridor is to increase visits by hikers, bikers and others to the corridor.