The 2018 NYS Canal Conference, featuring the theme of One Water: New York Harbor, attracted 110 attendees to the Hilton Garden Inn October 14-16. The conference began with a Community Day series of events on Staten Island on Sunday, October 14. The day kicked off with a special appearance by State Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. Monday morning plenary sessions were followed by afternoon mobile workshops to three destinations:
- Snug Harbor & Noble Maritime Center
- Canal to Coast: Reuniting the Waters Harbor Cruise
- Staten Island Ferry/Lower Manhattan Canal Slips & South Street Seaport
The Monday evening dinner celebrated the lifetime contributions of Anita Cottrell, winner of the Spirit of the Canal Award, and the Empire State Trail efforts of Andy Beers, recipient of the Canalway Trail Tender Award.
A special showing of the Water Way Youth Video, along with a recap of the Glass Barge 2018 Tour and a preview of the 2020 NYS Canal Conference in Schenectady completed the evening.
A total of 10 concurrent workshops Tuesday morning offered attendees a diverse series of waterway/historic preservation/economic development/arts & culture and marketing 1-hour sessions to choose from, and closed out the conference.
In addition to celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Erie Barge Canal in New York Harbor, attendees voiced their approval of the program and speakers. Evaluations by attendees are still being collected and compiled to assist in planning future canal conferences.
Schenectady has been announced as the site for the 2020 Canal Conference. Selection of a date for the 2020 Canal Conference is pending the announcement of the date for the 2020 World Canals Conference.
Members of the Canal Conference Planning Committee include: Brett Costello, Tom Grasso, Karen Helmerson, Greg Johnson, Martha Malone, Bill Miles, Naomi Sturm, Bill Sweitzer, Dan Ward, Craig Williams, Kal Wysokowski and Dave Kinyon.