U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Representatives Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) and Brian Higgins (NY-26) recently announced the passage of legislation reauthorizing the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor (ECNHC) and the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area (HRVNHA). This re-authorization extends heritage area designation for the ECNHC until 2030 and allows the HRVNHA to continue its operations through 2021. The designation also allows both entities to access federal funding for local projects.
The Erie Canalway was designated a National Heritage Corridor by Congress in 2000 when a ferderally-appointed Canalway Commission was tasked with promoting the Corridor as a tourist destination and preserving the historic and natural features of the area. The Corridor covers 4,834 square miles within 23 counties, encompassing the state’s 524-mile canal system and the communities that grew along its shores.
The ECNHC Commission works in conjunction with the National Park Service and U.S. Department of Interior and plays an important role in telling the story of the Erie Canal, America’s most iconic and influential waterway. In addition, the Commission’s work with canal communities ensures that the Canal’s legacy is an enduring one, contributing to economic development and quality of life in Upstate New York.
The Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, originally designated in 1996, links more than 100 individual sites along a stretch of the Hudson River from Saratoga to Westchester counties. The Heritage Area is managed by the Hudson River Valley Greenway which helps promote tourism and recreation in the region and highlights the unique role in American history and development played by the Hudson Valley.