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‘Erie: The Canal That Made America,’ WCNY-produced documentary airs Jan. 4 at 9 p.m. on WCNY-TV

WCNY, Central New York’s community-owned flagship public broadcaster, will air its documentary “Erie: The Canal That Made America” at 9 p.m. Jan. 4 on WCNY-TV.

For viewing information, visit To preview the documentary and to learn more, visit

Narrated by David Muir, ABC “World News Tonight” anchor, “Erie: The Canal That Made America” marks the bicentennial of the start of construction of the Erie Canal when surveyors and excavators began links a young United States to its western frontier. It depicts how a young nation broke through with its first national public works project – America’s greatest – by succeeding in constructing a supposedly impossible-to-build, 363-mile man-made waterway to America’s heartland. Once the waters of the Great Lakes were wed with the Atlantic Ocean, the canal helped create what America now knows as the Empire State and propelled New York City into the role of America’s leading port and economic hub.

Featured Canal experts in the documentary include: Duncan Hay, National Park Service; Craig Williams and Tom Grasso from the Canal Society of New York State; historian Dan Ward; Pamela Vittorio of Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum; Sam Clemence, Syracuse University; Patrick Stenshorn, National Women’s Hall of Fame; Margot Lystra, Cornell University; David Brooks, Schoharie Crossing Historical Site; Peter Wiles, Mid-Lakes Navigation. The documentary also features a re-enactment appearance of Elizabeth Cady Stanton portrayed by Melinda Grube of Cayuga Community College.

The documentary is made possible with support from William G. Pomeroy Foundation, Empire State Development, Raymond Paul Mathis and Paulette and Kevin B. Quinn.

About WCNY
WCNY was founded in 1965 as The Educational Television Council of Central New York. Today it is a community-owned media company that produces content across multiple platforms, including television and radio programs, dynamic web and targeted email content, the WCNY CONNECT member magazine, and social media. Through online stream technology, WCNY has a global broadcast audience of viewers and listeners throughout the United States and 17 countries. WCNY operates five digital, pledge-free broadcast channels and three radio stations. Towers are located in Watertown and Utica, and WCNY’s radio programming extends into Canada. Classic FM is one of a few radio stations in the world dedicated to locally programmed music.

Educational services include workshops; a 10,000 square-foot building with dedicated Education Center; Read Out, a radio reading service for the visually impaired; Enterprise America for middle school students; and a media and marketing communications program for high school students.

WCNY is LEED® Platinum Certified by the U.S. Green Building Council, the highest certification level achievable in Leadership, Energy & Environmental Design. Other achievements include Business of the Year in the nonprofit category in 2014 by CenterState CEO.

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