The North Coast owes whatever prosperity and growth it's enjoyed since it was first settled in the 1790s to the Erie Canal. The canal was a monumental engineering feat, a tremendous boost to commerce in 19th Century America and, today, a delightful natural resource used recreationally by residents and tourists alike.
When completed in 1824, the Erie Canal opened the West to pioneer settlers giving them a way to prosper by shipping at an affordable price farm produce, grain, lumber etc. to the large urban markets in the East. Today, eighty percent of the people in New York (outside of New York City) live within 20 miles of the Erie Canal