BoatUS is urging boaters to speak up now on last-minute NY State budget plan that could negatively affect the Erie Canal. Download hi-res photo
SPRINGFIELD, Va., February 26, 2021 – An act that was recently introduced in the waning days of New York’s annual budget process that allows no opportunity for public input proposes significant management changes to the New York State Canal System and, if passed, could have negative consequences on the historic waterway for years to come.
Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is urging its 44,000 New York members, boaters who use the canal system for transit to the Great Lakes and Canada, as well as upstate canal community members to have their voices heard and insist legislators immediately remove Governor Cuomo’s 30-day budget amendment TED Bill Part VV, known as the “New York State Canal System Revitalization Act,”
BoatUS offers an easy online option for NY state registered boat owners to send messages opposing the bill to their legislators, as well as an option for those outside of NY to post on Twitter.
“We believe the act’s last-minute introduction during the end of the budget process is an indication of the administration’s strategy to minimize debate and control outcomes,” said BoatUS Vice President of Public Affairs Scott Croft. “To discuss change of this magnitude, we ask Governor Cuomo to engage in an open, transparent process to ensure the future of this historic waterway, not only for recreational boaters in New York and beyond, but for the communities along its length.”
BoatUS notes that the proposed act essentially details the canal as a failure, calling it “antiquated and deteriorating” as a result of the lack of commercial shipping activity, while at the same time acknowledging that, “the state has not exploited the full potential of the canal system.” The act would forever change the operating structure that would leave management of the canal system even less transparent than it currently is, remove state accountability, and forever hinder the economic viability of the canal with weak funding sources.
“Boaters and the public want to have a say in the canal’s future, and this latest effort does the opposite,” added Croft. “When you combine this with past state actions, such as most recently proposing, and then backing off, plans for the shortest operational season on record, it’s clear boaters and canal communities have an important voice to offer.”
Suggested social media post:
Take action now! @BoatUS warns boaters of last-minute N.Y. budget maneuver proposes major changes to the management of the Erie and NY State Canal System with no public input https://bit.ly/3kscpf0 @BoatUS #BoatUSonWatch
About Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS):
Celebrating more than 50 years, BoatUS is the nation’s largest organization of recreational boaters with more than 700,000 members. We are the boat owners’ voice on Capitol Hill and fight for their rights. We are The Boat Owners Auto Club and help ensure a roadside trailer breakdown doesn’t end a boating or fishing trip before it begins. When boats break down on the water, TowBoatUS brings them safely back to the launch ramp or dock, 24/7. BoatUS offers GEICO Marine Insurance policies that give boat owners affordable, specialized coverage and superior service they need. We help keep boaters safe and our waters clean with assistance from the nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. Visit BoatUS.com.