Skip to Main Content

Grant Awards to Support NYS Canal System Tourism Infrastructure, Visitor Amenities, and Events

May 8, 2023

WATERFORD, NY- The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and the New York State Canal Corporation are pleased to announce that 42 not-for-profit organizations and municipalities will receive NYS Canal System Tourism Infrastructure and Event Grants totaling $190,000 in 2023. The grants will support seven tourism infrastructure and amenity improvements and 35 events along canal waterways and the Canalway Trail.

Recipients are spread across the Erie, Oswego, Cayuga-Seneca, and Champlain canals. Infrastructure and amenity projects include kayak storage and paddling launches, picnic facilities, restrooms, and park upgrades that better accommodate people with disabilities. Events range from large canal festivals to bike tours to arts and cultural offerings that will contribute to a lively season of activities.

New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said, “For nearly 200 years, the Erie Canal has been an economic engine and as we near its third century of operation, the strategic investments being made through this program are key to ensuring it continues to support the communities that grew alongside it. Improving infrastructure and bringing residents and visitors to canalside events will stimulate downtowns and create new opportunities to experience our Canal waterways.”

Now in its second year, the grants program represents a significant investment in canal recreation and tourism. Grants range from $500 to $24,000 and will leverage an estimated $438,775 in additional support.

“We are thrilled to support community partners to offer an exciting lineup of events and improved services for visitors all along the canals. Investing in canal tourism benefits residents and visitors alike and helps to maximize the economic impact of tourism for communities across New York,” said Bob Radliff, Executive Director of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.

List of grant recipients

The New York State Canal Corporation, a subsidiary of the New York Power Authority, oversees the operation and promotion of the New York State Canal System. The Canal Corporation’s mission is to operate and maintain a premier waterway and trail system that honors the historic legacy of the Erie Canal and offers unique recreational and tourism opportunities, while also promoting sustainable economic development throughout the canal corridor.

Nearly 200 years after its construction, the Erie Canal remains an iconic symbol of American ingenuity and determination. The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor works to preserve the Nation’s extraordinary canal heritage, promote the Corridor as a world-class tourism destination, and foster vibrant communities connected by more than 500 miles of waterway. It achieves its mission in partnership with the National Park Service, New York State agencies, non-profit organizations, local residents, and more than 200 communities across the full expanse of upstate New York. 



  • 2023 Grant Awardees
  • Photo: Roc River Ride, Rotary Club of Rochester-SW, 2023 Event Grant recipient; photo courtesy Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor

Jean Mackay
Director of Communications and Outreach
Erie Canalway Heritage Fund, Inc.
Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor
P.O. Box 219, Waterford, NY 12188
518-237-7000 x 222
518-925-6721 (cell)