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August 31, 2012

New York State Canal Conference to be held in Oswego September 30-October 2, 2012

(Albany, N.Y. - August 31, 2012) - The Canal Society of New York State announced todaythat the14th New York State Canal Conferencewill be held on September 30 - October 2, 2012 in Oswego, New York. The conference is being co-presented by the New York State Canal Corporation and Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. Additional major sponsors include Brookfield and the Port of Oswego. The newly remodeled Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center will serve as the event's venue.

"The 2012 New York State Canal Conference is a 'must attend' event. Our line up includes international speakers such as Mr. James Clifton, from the United Kingdom's Tourism Enterprise Group; Parcs Canada; and regional experts from Kentucky, Ohio, and of course, New York State. Oswego welcomes attendees to its City, port, river, lake, and canal, indeed a place where the water never ends," saidKal Wysokowski, Conference Chair. "The conference will include panels and presentations of major issues for the canal system."

"As a community, we are proud to host the 2012 New York State Canals Conference in a location Were the Water Never Ends.The canal has played a significant role in shaping the economy of the City of Oswego, and New York State as a whole. The conference will show how we continue to depend on the recreational and commercial activities of the waterway, and will outline development opportunities that will enhance our economic fortunes for the future," saidJonathan Daniels, Executive Director, Port of Oswego.

Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said, "The Canal Conference presents an opportunity to look back on all that we've accomplished together, to explore opportunities for the future, and to prepare for challenges that lie ahead. As we look back on a period which presented us with our fair share of challenges, we've also accomplished so much under the leadership of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. Whether it is the transformative impact of the Governor's Regional Economic Development Councils initiative, or the resurgence in commercial shipping, there is a palpable sense of hope in communities all throughout the Canal Corridor."

"This is a great opportunity to bring people together to focus on the past, present, and future of New York's legendary canals. The conference inspires and informs our work to enhance and celebrate the Erie Canalway for all to use and enjoy," said Beth Sciumeca, Executive Director of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.

Sunday, September 30 will showcase Oswego with a variety of activities hosted in partnership with the Port of Oswego, Oswego County Department of Development, Tourism & Planning, Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce and the Lake Ontario Event & Conference Center. Delegates and the community at large will have an opportunity to enjoy the Pumpkin Festival, Reenactment of a Civil War Battle, tour and ride on Canal Corporation vessels, and enjoy an Oktoberfest celebration with a Light Show and Fireworks. Registration fees for delegates include a 12-month pass to five museums.

The program is varied in scope. The Opening Plenary Session on Monday is a presentation by Jonathan Daniels on the Economic Impact of the Port of Oswego. Other program highlights include sessions by Canal Corporation staff on the devastating floods of Irene in 2011, Connecting Canalway Land and Water Trails, the 2014 Centennial Celebration of the Panama Canal, Carp Fishing on the Erie Canal, the Port of Lyons Technical and Financial Feasibility Evaluation, Restoration of the Ohio & Erie Canal Aqueduct Over Tinkers Creek in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and the Revival of the Lachine Canal.

The Spirit of the Canal Award and Trail Tender Award will also be presented during the conference.

A full description of conference sessions is attached. For registration information contact The Rivers Organization at rick@riversorg.com.

For more information on the Canal Conference or the Canal Society of New York State, visit www.canalsnys.org.

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