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Canal Corporation announces local marine patrol grants

by jmaloni
Tue, May 29th 2012 08:45 am

Funding in conjunction with National Safe Boating Week

(readMedia) -- The New York State Canal Corporation has announced a $218,032 in grant funding to law enforcement agencies in seven counties across upstate New York for patrolling segments of the New York State Canal System. The announcement coincided with the annual observance of National Safe Boating Week, May 19-25.

"On behalf of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, and through these community-based grants, we are pleased to help local law enforcement officials reinforce their own, individual efforts to ensure a safe and enjoyable boating season this year along the canal," said Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton. "And the annual observance of National Safe Boating week helps us bring attention to the critically important issue of boating safety. These community-based grants will ensure that our waterways are patrolled by marine units with the training, experience, and local knowledge necessary to fill this critical need."

The reimbursement-basis grants will fund up to 75 percent of local marine safety patrol operations conducted on waterways that are part of or contiguous to the 524-mile-long state canal system.

Sheriffs' departments in the counties of Erie, Albany, Oneida, Seneca, and Niagara were awarded individual grants of $30,000 each. The Monroe County Sheriffs's Department was awarded $28,032, and the Cayuga County Sheriffs's Department was awarded $10,000.

Sheriff Craig Apple said: "The Albany County Sheriff's Office has been instrumental in maintaining safe waterways in Albany County for more than 35 years. We believe our enforcement efforts provide us with a unique opportunity to enforce maritime regulations prior to entry into the canal system, thus making it a safer environment for its users. Program funding sources were being reviewed when we received notice that the Canal Corporation was accepting proposals from agencies to provide the very services we were going to have to cut."

Sheriff Robert Maciol said: "The Oneida County Sheriff's Office is happy to partner with the New York State Canal Corporation, through its marine patrol grant, to increase our presence along the entire 32 miles of canal that run through our county, as well as Oneida Lake, and to provide for the safety of our boaters. With this grant, we look forward to further deterring illegal activity while proactively keeping these areas safe and enjoyable for everyone's use."

Sheriff Jack S. Stenberg said, "As the Seneca County Sheriff's Office expands our navigation and marine patrol this year, we welcome this additional funding from the New York State Canal Corporation, which will allow us to better patrol the waterways under our jurisdiction and provide for the safety of all those who enjoy our lakes and canal during the boating season."

Sheriff David Phelps said: "With sole responsibility for patrolling the vast majority of the 36 miles of canal running through Monroe County, as well as the entire 990 square miles of navigable waters county-wide, the Sheriff's patrol is always looking for opportunities to increase and expand our marine patrols. The Canal Corporation's marine patrol grant allows us to dedicate extra patrols along the canal and canalway trail and better serve our residents while keeping our waterways safe."

National Boating Week was officially proclaimed by an act of Congress in 1958. The program is observed in the seven-day period prior to Memorial Day weekend to reinforce the importance of staying safe on the water while enjoying a safe boating experience.

Now in its 188th consecutive season of operation, the New York State Canal system is comprised of four historic waterways: the Erie, Champlain, Oswego and Cayuga-Seneca canals. Spanning 524 miles across New York state, the system links the Hudson River, Lake Champlain, Lake Ontario, the Finger Lakes and Lake Erie via the Niagara River.

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