Congressman Tim Ryan Helps Lift Funding Cap on Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) applauds the passage of the Natural Resources Management Act—a public lands package that permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund and includes a provision removing the funding limitation in the Ohio & Erie National Heritage Canalway Act of 1996. The Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area was expected to hit the funding cap this year. Congressman Ryan introduced a bill in the 115th (H.R. 7081) and 116th (H.R. 1211) Congress removing this funding limitation, and that language was included in the public lands package. The Senate passed the bill last week and it now heads to the President’s desk for his signature.
“Today’s passage of the public lands package is a huge win for conservation and the State of Ohio, and I am proud to have played a role in ensuring federal support for the Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area will continue. Federal dollars encourage private investment, which means more Ohioans will have access to outdoor recreation activities and protected natural resources right in their backyard. It also means more tourism and economic development opportunities for surrounding communities. The continued development and construction of the Ohio & Erie Canalway and Towpath Trail will connect neighborhoods and create much-needed green spaces in areas that would otherwise not have them. All of this underscores the importance of the continued conservation of historic spaces and public lands for communities, local economies, and future generations of Americans,” said Congressman Ryan.
“Through the funding cap increase for the Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area in the Public Lands bill, we will continue to develop, maintain and activate the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail and connector trails, preserve historic buildings, and conserve natural areas from Cleveland to New Philadelphia, Ohio. Working together with local governments, park agencies, foundations and non-profit organizations, we have built 88 miles of the Towpath Trail, preserved over 20 historic structures and leveraged over $408 million in community and economic impact. For every $1 of federal investment, we are leveraging $3 of private, local and state funding for the Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area, Towpath Trail and connector trails. We are extremely grateful to Congressman Ryan for his tremendous support and vision for Ohio & Erie Canalway and Towpath Trail, and all members of the Ohio delegation, as we celebrate our heritage, promote stewardship and create a legacy for future generations,” said Dan Rice, President and CEO of the Ohio and Erie Canalway Coalition.