Joyce Votes to Protect the Ohio & Erie Canalway
Provides strong investment in the Canalway to support the jobs and economic development it brings to Ohio
WASHINGTON – This week, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) voted in favor of S. 47, the Natural Resources Management Act, to safeguard and enhance national treasures like the Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area by improving public lands management, protecting natural resources and increasing public access for recreation. The Natural Resources Management Act passed the House by a vote of 363 to 62. As the bill previously passed the Senate by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 92 to 8, it now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law.
“This legislation authorizes increased funding for the historic Ohio & Erie Canalway, ensuring this National Heritage Area can continue to support thousands of Ohioan jobs and bring economic development to our state,” said Dave. “I was proud to support S. 47 and the investment it makes to ensure jobs, recreation, tourism and economic development can continue to thrive in northeast Ohio.”
The Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area spans more than 100 miles between New Philadelphia and Cleveland, supporting 4,200 Ohioan jobs and generating $408 million every year. In 2015, Congress reauthorized funding for the Canalway through 2021, however the site was at risk of reaching the funding cap. Importantly, S. 47 ensures the Canalway can continue to receive these necessary resources and provides it with funding certainty by increasing the spending cap.
“We are extremely grateful to Congressman Joyce for his tremendous vision and support for the Ohio & Erie Canalway and Towpath Trail, and all members of the Ohio delegation, as we celebrate our heritage, promote stewardship and stimulate community and create a legacy for future generations,” said Dan Rice, President and CEO of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition. “Working in partnership with local governments, park agencies, planning agencies, foundations and nonprofit organizations, we have built 88 miles of the Towpath Trail, identified 500 miles of connector trails, preserved over 20 historic buildings and leveraged $408 million annually in community and economic impact. Through the funding cap increase for the Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area in the Natural Resources Management Act of 2019, we shall continue to develop, activate and maintain the Towpath Trail and connector trails, preserve historic buildings, conserve natural areas and present educational programs from Cleveland to New Philadelphia, Ohio.”
Additionally, S. 47 requires the Interior and Agriculture departments and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to create a plan to cost-effectively reduce invasive species populations and the areas they affect, such as the Asian Carp that have the potential to plague the Great Lakes. Once signed into law, the agencies would have to use “all tools and flexibilities available” to expedite projects to address invasive species and protect land and water resources.
“As the Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, I look forward to continuing my work to protect and preserve the Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area and other national treasures,” said Dave.