Reimagine the Canals Initiative

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Reimagine the Canals

In June 2019, Governor Cuomo announced a sweeping initiative to examine how the 195-year-old Erie Canal system could be reimagined for the 21st century. The initiative aims to boost local economies, inspire new opportunities for tourism and recreation, and strengthen environmental resiliency along the historic waterway.

This ground-breaking initiative will:

  • Identify potential new uses for the Erie Canal aimed at improving the quality of life for New Yorkers;

  • Evaluate how the Erie Canal can support and enhance economic development along the canal corridor;

  • Find new opportunities to enhance recreation and tourism along the Erie Canal;

  • Assess how the Erie Canal can help mitigate impacts from flooding and ice jams to improve resiliency and restore ecosystems in canal communities; and

  • Identify opportunities for using Erie Canal infrastructure to expand irrigation for Western New York farms.

The Reimagine the Canals Task Force is an outgrowth of the Reimagine the Canals Competition held last year by the New York Power Authority and the New York State Canal Corporation. The competition rewarded innovative ideas that will help New York’s canals spark new forms of recreation and economic development. The task force will explore many of the ideas with which the competition engaged.

Helping guide the task force will be the Rockefeller Institute of Government, a part of the State University of New York. The Rockefeller Institute will engage with stakeholders and canal communities, a process that will include a series of public meetings held across the state where residents, business owners and municipal leaders can provide input on the Canal's future.

Erie Canal Map

An Essential Part of our Past, Present, and Future

About the Reimagine the Canals

A Catalyst for Economic Development and Environmental Resiliency

Public Meetings

Public meetings were held across the state to get community input. Learn more about these important discussions that will help shape the future of the Erie Canal.

News and Updates

Keep up on the latest news about the Governor's Reimagine the Canals Initiative.

Get Involved

Tell Us How You Would Reimagine the Erie Canal