Washington, D.C. – This week, Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH) and Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) led a bipartisan letter to the House Appropriations Committee in support of funding for the Ohio and Erie Canal National Heritage Canalway and two other National Heritage Areas. The letter encourages the Appropriations Committee to extend the aggregate funding available for the Canalway. In 2015 Congress reauthorized the Ohio and Erie Canal until 2021, but did not allow for federal funding to extend through 2021 - threatening the services that the Canalway is able to provide.
“The Canalway is an important part of the Northeast Ohio community, providing the 2.5 million annual visitors countless opportunities to enjoy scenic hiking & biking trails, local events, and much more,” said Renacci. “It is important that the Ohio and Erie National Heritage Canalway continues to receive federal funding to support the local jobs that are provided from the Canal.”
Dan Rice, President and CEO of the Ohio and Erie Canalway Coalition, said “On behalf of our all of our partners along the Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area, we are grateful to Congressman Renacci, and all members of the Ohio delegation, for their strong support for the Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage, Towpath Trail and connector trails.
Through the authorization extension for the Ohio & Erie Canalway, we shall continue to develop, maintain and activate the Towpath Trail, preserve historic buildings, conserve natural areas and present educational programs about the natural, historical and recreational resources along the Ohio & Erie Canal.
Over 2,500,000 hikers and bicyclists enjoy the Towpath Trail and generate approximately $409 million of community and economic impact annually.”