Here are just a few of the key points raised in the reporting by Brian Nearing:
- The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor has raised alarms over what the state is doing, echoing the concerns that planning was done behind closed doors and that the sinkings and potential land-locking of the Urger are being done too quickly for anyone to object.
- The Preservation League is urging the state to throw open its planning process on the fates of the other canal vessels that is is planning to sink in the ocean.
- The National Trust for Historic Preservation will picture Tug Urger in the Fall issue of their Preservation magazine as “Threatened” in the Transitions department, which highlights resources restored, saved, threatened, or lost.
- Andrew Denny, news editor of Waterways World, the United Kingdom's biggest-selling and longest-established inland waterways magazine, also reached out to the League to get more information on our efforts. He's planning to include our story in an upcoming edition of the magazine, but also shared valuable insight and success stories from the UK.
There's a thriving culture of preserving old canal working boats in the UK. See https://hnbc.org.uk/ - the historic narrow boat club and https://vimeo.com/179724924 - the relaunch of a working boat called Dane after a two-year restoration (amazing video drone footage).
Also https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcyYIk2r458&t=100s - a ravishing (if unscripted) video of people who preserve old barges, and look on YouTube for the 'Braunston Historic Boat Show' - e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CD0xGp__X1w . Every June dozens of old boats converge at Braunston in the English midlands for a rally.
The Canal & River Trust (our equivalent to the NY State Canals) has a strict policy of selling historic craft to volunteers, charities or deep-pocketed individuals who show a willingness to care for them. Sometimes people will restore a rotting old wooden barge to the extent of almost completely rebuilding it, rather than see it vanish.
One such boat, Raymond, had to be almost completely rebuilt - almost all that was left was the cast iron 'knees' (or hull braces), but they wanted it to be as 'original' as possible, not a replica. And the wood they had to remove was where possible recycled into furniture etc and sold to fundraise for the rebuilding.
All these were done by volunteers with small-scale fundraising.
You can help #SaveTheUrger and #KeepCanalBoatsAfloat!
- Sign the petition on our website to save the Urger and keep canal boats afloat!
- Send an email to your friends with a link to the petition page (www.preservenys.org/save-the-urger), inviting them to join you in this effort.
- Forward that email to email@example.com - and we'll send you a Preservation League baseball cap or t-shirt (your choice of size) with our thanks!
Please sign our petition - and pass it on!