Erie Canal

Many New Yorkers who live along the Erie Canal are rediscovering the waterway via long-distance bicycle trips.

The recreational trail along the canal is becoming a well-used resource by people living in towns that were built by the canal. And they’re spending money too.

A survey by Parks and Trails New York finds a million and a half people take to the Erie Canal Trail every year. A large majority, nearly 90 percent, of those are bikers.

The Nature Conservancy and other environmental groups are making use of a recently developed DNA sampling technique to determine whether or not any invasive species might be swimming, living or growing in the Oswego River and Erie Canal. By taking hundreds of water samples, the group believes it can slow the growth of invasive species in the state.

The Erie Canal and New York's smaller waterways are open for their 190th consecutive season connecting New York Harbor with the Great Lakes and other points west and north.

The 524 miles of waterways drove the rise of upstate New York's cities two centuries ago. Now, the canal is mostly a tourism and recreation path.

All this week, we’ll be bringing you  a series of stories from the documentary about the state of the economy in New York state. "New York in the World" with Garrick Utley will air on WRVO Public Media  Sunday, August 25 at 7 p.m.

A dispute is brewing in Oswego over who should get to use some docking space right in the center of town.

George Broadwell owns two hotels, a restaurant and a convention center along the east side of the Oswego River.

Last year, he says he complained to city and state officials about the number of tugs and barges mooring along the river in front of his establishments. Earlier this year, even more tug boats and barges were mooring along the 600 feet of space in front of his property.

The Lois McClure is a replica of an 1862 canal schooner that's also a floating museum. This summer she's commemorating 19th century transportation history by traveling from Lake Champlain, across the canal system to Buffalo, down the St. Lawrence river to Montreal, and back again.

New York's Erie Canal is reviving its history to again be an economic corridor for commercial shipping through upstate New York — after decades of being mostly used by recreational boats.

Shipping from Canada is expected to lead to a level of commercial traffic not seen in decades.

While often seen as an economic lifeline of another era, New York's canals are poised to have a big year for moving freight; almost two centuries after goods were first transported on the upstate New York waterway.

The New York Thruway Authority's decision to layoff 234 staff as part of a strategy to address its financial predicament includes the loss of 42 canal workers who maintain 57 locks along the 524-mile length of the Erie Canal that connects the Hudson River to Lake Erie in the west.