ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Seven finalists have been chosen by the state of New York for a $2.5 million competition seeking innovative ideas to boost economic activity and tourism along the State Canal System.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that the finalists for the Reimagine the Canals Competition were drawn from a field 145 entries from nine nations and nine states. The Democrat says the state Canal Corp. and New York Power Authority will select the winners, who will receive between $250,000 and $1.5 million to plan and implement their projects.

The program is aimed at finding new ways to use the canals for economic development as well as increase tourism and recreation along the 524-mile waterway.

The final winners will be announced in the fall.

The canal system includes the Erie, Champlain, Oswego and Cayuga-Seneca canals.

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