The 2016 World Canals Conference in Inverness, Scotland was an eye-opening experience for the 4 people from Delaware Canal 21 who attended. Delaware Canal 21’s Executive Director, Debra Wolf Goldstein, and Technical Advisor, William Collins, were invited to make a presentation at the conference, held at the end of September. Board president Allen Black and Board member Randy Apgar came along (at their own expense) to network and spread the word about Delaware Canal 21.
There were numerous highlights, but to name just a few:
- After seeing how canals are thriving in Scotland, Canada, France, and Korea we came away energized and optimistic that we will succeed in achieving the same level of success for our Delaware Canal.
- It was astounding how other nations have turned their canals into powerful economic drivers that generate income not only for maintenance of their canals but also for re-invigoration of their adjacent and nearby communities.
- There is much modern technology out there that could be applied to our canal without sacrificing its historic significance:
- Remote sensors and waste gate operations.
- Ability to detect incipient holes in clay and earthen structures so the holes can be fixed before they become holes.
- Software to manage a preventive maintenance program.
- And much, much more.
- There are many helpful, knowledgeable people out there! From the head of the Scottish canal system to a boat builder from Albany, everyone we met was not just willing but anxious to help us fix our Canal.
For a link to dynamic keynote speaker Steve Dunlop, head of Scottish Canals, please click here: HERE.
To watch a video of DC21 executive director Debra Wolf Goldstein and technical advisor William Collins present the Vision Study at WCC, click HERE.