New task force to explore ways to use the Erie Canal

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A task force charged with revitalizing New York’s Erie Canal will hold its first meeting later this month and will soon announce several public meetings across the state.

Former Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney chairs the group, which has 19 members.

Among the group’s focal points are potential new uses for 195-year-old waterway, how the canal can enhance economic development, recreation and tourism, and expansion of irrigation for farms in western New York.

The group also will explore ways the canal can mitigate impacts from flooding and ice jams along the 363-mile route and restore ecosystems in canal communities.

Recommendations will be made to Gov. Andrew Cuomo at year’s end.

Associated Press

Associated Press

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