Study: NY canals generate more than $6B

Sailors cruise under a steel-deck lift bridge on the Erie Canal during a sunny spring day in Middleport, N.Y., Monday, June 13, 2011. (AP Photo/David Duprey)
Sailors cruise under a steel-deck lift bridge on the Erie Canal during a sunny spring day in Middleport, N.Y., Monday, June 13, 2011. (AP Photo/David Duprey)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A new report says New York’s canal system generates more than $6.2 billion in non-recreational economic activity, mostly in hydropower and industrial uses.

The report was commissioned by the New York State Canal Corp. It found that the canals support more than 26,000 jobs and generates hundreds of millions in tax revenue.

Many of the businesses relying on the canals are industrial facilities that use canal water for cooling, rinsing or processing. In addition, 27 hydroelectric facilities along the canals use the water to generate power sufficient to serve 54,000 homes.

Earlier studies show the canals also generate economic activity through shipping and tourism.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose office released the report on Tuesday, calls the canals a rich part of New York’s heritage and an important economic resource.

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