State canal system opens for season

The 190th consecutive season of the New York State Canal system, which encompasses the Erie, Champlain, Oswego and Cayuga-Seneca Canals, is under way, a news release said.

The season will feature events such as Cycle the Erie Canal, an end-to-end trip along the Canalway Trail, the return of the replica Canal Schooner Lois McClure, CanalSplash!, Canalfest of the Tonawandas, Fairport Canal Days, Oswego Harborfest and the Waterford Tugboat Roundup.

Boaters can buy their canal pass online. All motorized recreational vessels passing through any lock or lift bridge on the canal system must purchase either a seasonal pass, a 10-day pass or a two-day pass. For locations where permits are sold in person, visit www.canals.ny.gov/boating/tolls.html.

Other improvements this year include continuing the $28 million structural improvement project at the eight movable dams in Montgomery and Schenectady counties. This year’s work involves replacing steel and mechanical components as well as lighting upgrades.These improvements will help the canal take measures to reduce damage to public infrastructure, businesses and residences.

Also, work is under way to establish the new upstate New York Flood Warning System, which will cover more than 13,000 square miles and encompass three watersheds – the Oswego River Basin, Mohawk River Basin and Upper Hudson River Basin.