The New York State Canal System was recently designated a National Historic Landmark.

The National Historic Landmark designation includes the Erie, Champlain, Oswego, and Cayuga-Seneca canals. The canal system features 450 miles of navigation channels, locks, lift bridges, dams, power houses and maintenance shops.

“This recognition from the highest levels of our nation reminds us once again of the essential role New York state, and its waterways have played in our country’s development and prominence,” said Bob Radliff, executive director of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. “This designation recognizes the canals’ significance, raises community pride, invites new investments and enhances their status for residents and visitors.”

Less than 3 percent of the thousands of places listed on the National Register of Historic Places are designated National Historic Landmarks.

The designation recognizes the canal as an embodiment of the Progressive Era’s emphasis on public works and as a nationally significant work of early 20th century engineering and construction.